New Powers of Attorney Legislation

Powers of Attorney Act 2014 (the Act) commenced on 1 September 2015.

It is intended to consolidate the law relating to enduring powers of attorney, provide a meaning for capacity, provide protections for those persons whose affairs are being dealt with under a power of attorney and create the role of a supportive attorney.

The Act consolidates the previous enduring power of attorney (financial) and power of guardianship into one enduring power of attorney. This new enduring power of attorney document will allow individuals to appoint an attorney to manage financial matters, personal matters (i.e. lifestyle decisions) or both.
The Act provides protections by :

  • setting out a test for determining whether the individual making the power of attorney (known as the principal) has the capacity to do so and provides some guidance on how this should be assessed.
  • introducing more stringent requirements for the making and revoking of an enduring power of attorney.
  • setting out the duties of enduring attorneys; and
  • prohibiting certain conduct by an attorney and regulating certain transactions.

The Act also introduces the supportive attorney appointment, which allows a principal to appoint a person (‘a supportive attorney’) to provide support to make or give effect to some or all of the principal’s decisions.

If you wish to review your affairs, taking into account the new power of attorney legislation after 1 September 2015 please contact Trevor Kuhle at our Bendigo office or Tony Bateman or Vesna Pocuca at our Castlemaine office.