Enduring Power of Attorney (VIC)An Enduring Power of Attorney can be used to give an attorney the authority to act on your behalf even if you lose your mental capacity to manage your own affairs.
An enduring power of attorney is a legal document. Making an appointment under an enduring power of attorney is a formal process that allows you to appoint a person(s) you trust to make decisions for you, including if you are ever unable to make decisions for yourself sometime in the future, due to a lack of decision making capacity.
It is strongly advised that any customisation of this form should be restricted to the fields in the questionnaire, as the legislation requires specific wording to be used. Where text remains that is not applicable to your circumstances, such as the text relating to how multiple attorneys will exercise their powers, this text should be left in its original form.
What is an Attorney?
The person you appoint to make decisions on your behalf is called your ‘attorney’. You can choose whether your attorney(s) can make financial decisions, personal decisions or both. Personal decisions do not include matters that relate to medical treatment, or to medical research procedures. You will need a different form if you wish to appoint a medical treatment decision maker.
You can also appoint a person(s) to be a back-up for one or more attorney(s), in case your usual attorney is ever unable or unwilling to act. This person is called an ‘alternative attorney’.
This version allows you to appoint up to two attorneys and two alternative attorneys.
- can be a family member or friend or someone else that you trust or an occupant of a position;
- must be 18 years of age or older; and
- cannot be an insolvent under administration.
You cannot appoint:
- your care worker
- your health provider, or
- your accommodation provider.
For financial matters, you can appoint a trustee company.
If the person who will be your attorney for financial matters has been convicted or found guilty of an offence involving dishonesty, they have to tell you about it and have it recorded in this form.
Notes for witnessing
After completing the form, you must:
- sign the form (or have a person sign at your direction) in front of two witnesses (witnessing may be done remotely);
- have your two witnesses sign and date the form in front of you and each other;
- have the attorney(s) sign the statement of acceptance in front of a witness; and
- have a witness sign for each attorney’s statement of acceptance.
The form may also be signed on your behalf by someone acting at your direction where, for instance, you have the capacity to make decisions but have lost control of your hands. This person must be 18 or over, and may not be a witness to or an attorney under this power of attorney. Where this is the case, the witnesses to your signature must certify that they saw the you freely and voluntarily direct the person to sign on your behalf.
Either or both of the witnesses to your signature can also witness the attorneys' statements of acceptance.
One of the witnesses to an enduring power of attorney must be:
- a medical practitioner; or
- a person who is authorised to witness affidavits.
A witness cannot be:
- under 18 years of age;
- your relative;
- someone being appointed as an attorney(s);
- a relative of your attorney(s);
- your care worker; or
- your accommodation provider.
A person who has signed the form on your behalf (if you cannot physically sign) also cannot be your witness.
Remote signing and witnessing
Powers of attorney may be witnessed electronically. The required procedure is outlined at https://www.justice.vic.gov.au/justice-system/legal-assistance/powers-of-attorney-documents-online-witnessing
Where the document is being witnessed electronically, it may also be signed electronically. We recommend the following procedure. The witness must have an audio-visual link with the person making the declaration throughout the entire process. The camera must be pointed at the person and the screen where the person will electronically sign the declaration. Once the declaration has been signed by the person, they will typically then receive the declaration by electronic means, sign it electronically themselves, and send it back to the person. The signatures and initials can be inserted on the Lawpath platform.
Additional information on the requirements of electronic signing can be found at https://www.justice.vic.gov.au/electronicwitnessing
You do not need to submit this form anywhere.
You need to complete it, make sure it is signed and witnessed properly, and then keep the original in a safe place. You should keep all pages of this form together at all times. You only need to print and keep the continuation section with the form if you have used this section.
You should give your attorney(s) a certified copy of this form.
More information about powers of attorney and medical treatment decision makers is available on the Office of the Public Advocate website at publicadvocate.vic.gov.au.