The new Victorian Powers of Attorney Act 2014 (the Act) received royal assent on 26 August 2014 and is set to come into operation, at the latest, on 1 September 2015.
The Act provides for some quite significant changes to the preparation, operation and effect of Powers of Attorney in this State.
Currently, the three most common documents often described as ‘Powers of Attorney’ include:
There are, of course, other forms of powers which can be given depending upon the individual circumstances.
Whilst the Act does not affect the validity of documents prepared under the current regime prior to its commencement, it does repeal some of the above provisions (relating to financial attorneys and guardians) to consolidate in one single document powers of attorney for financial matters, legal matters and personal matters.
The Act defines financial, legal and personal matters and gives some helpful examples of the types of actions to be undertaken, most of which are the decisions currently being made under an Enduring (or non-enduring) Power of Attorney (Financial) and Appointment of Enduring Guardian.
Some important aspects of the Act (and differences to the current regime) include:
The power must be in writing and must be in the prescribed form. We have not yet been provided with Regulations prescribing the forms.
When considering making a Power of Attorney as a principal or if you are or are intending to act as an attorney, you should carefully consider the implications of this Act.
Aitken Partners has extensive experience in this jurisdiction with two Accredited Specialists and more than nine decades experience in the area.