New powers of attorney laws which come into effect today will provide more protection and support to Victorians who appoint someone they trust to look after their personal and financial affairs.
The new laws combine the enduring power of attorney (financial) and the power of guardianship into a single power of attorney for financial and personal matters.
Victorians will now only need to appoint one enduring power of attorney to allow a person to manage both their financial and personal affairs, ensuring the laws are simple and protect people.
In a legislative first for Victoria and Australia, the new laws have created the appointment of supportive attorneys, who can support people to make and give effect to their own decisions.
The new laws provide improved protections and safeguards against abuse, including creating new offences for dishonestly obtaining or using an enduring power of attorney or supportive attorney appointment, which is punishable by up to five years imprisonment.
The new laws recognise a person’s right to make their own decisions whenever possible in relation to enduring powers of attorney. They also provide better guidance for assessing a person’s capacity to make decisions, the Andrews Labor Government is pleased to be implementing these important reforms.
Quotes attributable to Attorney-General Martin Pakula
“Anyone can appoint a power of attorney and it’s free. It ensures that someone you trust can make important financial and personal decisions on your behalf, which may be required in situations such as where you’re ill.”
“The consolidation of previous laws will make it even easier for Victorians to appoint a power of attorney that meets their requirements, and help them to take control of their future.”
“The introduction of supportive attorneys is the first of its kind in Australia. It will allow greater autonomy for many people with disabilities, helping them to take care of their own needs with appropriate support.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020