POWERS OF ATTORNEY
What exactly is a Power of Attorney? “It is a legal document that allows a person to appoint another person to make decisions for them or support them to make & give effect to their decisions” – Office of The Public Advocate, Victoria.
There are several different types of Powers of Attorney
An Enduring Power of Attorney appoints a substitute decision maker who is able to make important financial & personal decisions on your behalf if you are unable to make those decisions yourself due to illness or injury. As the name suggests, ‘enduring’ means that this can continue in force to manage the affairs of people who have lost the ability to deal with their own affairs. An Enduring Power of Attorney may be one way of planning for the future.
A General Power of Attorney is mainly used for a specific purpose & a fixed time period e.g. you may be overseas for a period of time & you need someone else to make financial decisions for you during this period.
A Supportive Attorney Appointment promotes independence for a person who is able to make decisions provided they have support to make & act on their decisions.
A Medical Power of Attorney appoints a person who has legal authority to make medical treatment decisions for you also known as your medical treatment decision maker. To be able to appoint your medical treatment decision maker, you must have decision-making capacity to make the appointment. You should choose someone that you trust to respect your values & preferences. You can appoint more than one person but only one person acts at any one time.
When are Powers of Attorney used – Special circumstances may trigger the need for a Power of Attorney for any person over the age of 18 but usually the most common time to establish a Power of Attorney comes when someone, usually in retirement, is elderly or if a person faces a serious, more long-term health crisis that cannot be easily navigated – Kimberly Rotter, Investopedia.
Everyone has the right to make their own decisions, but anyone can experience an injury of illness that means that they are unable to make decisions either temporarily or permanently. Powers of Attorney enable you to take control now to improve the likelihood that decisions are made as you want them in the future
Sources: Office of the Public Advocate, Victoria & Investopedia