To make a Power of Attorney, you must be over the age of 18 years and have decision making capacity. By granting a Power of Attorney, you are legally appointing a person to make decisions, sign documents and act on your behalf.
There are several forms of Powers of Attorney.:
- Non-Enduring (for a short period of time eg: overseas holiday);
- Enduring Power of Attorney (Financial and Personal)
- Medical Power of Attorney.
A Medical Power of Attorney, appoints a person (Medical agent) to make decisions regarding medical treatment on your behalf.
If you do not have a Power of Attorney and become incapable of making decisions, an application may need to be made to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) to appoint an Administrator/Guardian to make those decisions for you.
An Administrator is a person or organisation appointed by VCAT to make financial and legal decisions for someone with a disability, who is unable to make those decisions themselves. An Administrator may be given authority to make decisions about matters such as the purchase or sale of assets, payment of debts and investment of money.
Guardianship may be required if a person with a disability cannot make reasonable decisions about their own personal affairs and lifestyle or there are concerns about decisions they or others are making for them.
A guardian must protect the person from neglect, abuse or exploitation.
VCAT will make an order on what decisions a guardian can make and can appoint the Public Advocate as guardian.
A guardian cannot make decisions about the finances of the person with a decision making disability.