Information About Powers Of Attorney
Powers of Attorney provide authority for another person to make decisions on your behalf, during your lifetime, in relation to financial, personal and medical treatment matters. All Powers of Attorney cease effectiveness upon your passing.
Enduring power of attorney
An Enduring Power of Attorney authorises your appointed attorney(s) to make decisions on your behalf in relation to both financial and personal matters. As the name suggests, it endures for your lifetime, even after you have lost your cognitive capacity.
Some examples of the powers your attorney(s) may exercise include:
- Conducting property and financial transactions.
- Decide where you live, whether permanently or temporarily.
- Decide on your daily diet and dress.
- Restrict visitors, as far as it is necessary to protect your best interests.
The exercise of powers in relation to financial matters can come into effect upon the completion of your Enduring Power of Attorney, although may only be used with your direct instruction while you have cognitive capacity. This may be useful in situations where you are overseas or otherwise unable to carry out specific tasks (i.e. lack of mobility).
Conversely, powers pertaining to personal matters will only ever come into effect when you are no longer in a position to make these decisions for yourself.
Appointment of medical treatment decision maker
An Appointment of Medical Treatment Decision Maker authorises your appointed decision maker to make decisions on your behalf in relation to your health and medical treatment.
The person responsible for making a medical treatment decision will be the first person listed on the appointment who is reasonably available and willing to act at that time. Your decision makers have very significant responsibilities, including:
- Authorising the switching off of a life support machine.
- Authorising or refusing medication.
- Authorising or refusing operations and procedures.
Like personal matters, medical treatment powers under an Appointment of Medical Treatment Decision Maker will only ever come into effect when you are no longer in a position to make these decisions for yourself, as certified by a doctor.
General non-enduring power of attorney
A General Non-Enduring Power of Attorney authorises your appointed attorney(s) to make decisions on your behalf in relation to financial affairs only.
In contrast with the Enduring Power of Attorney, a General Non-Enduring Power of Attorney will cease operation when the maker loses their cognitive capacity.
These documents are predominantly used for a specific purpose and time-frame, often in situations where a person requires assistance managing their finance or business interests while they are unavailable.