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Changes to Powers of Attorney in Victoria

Changes to Powers of Attorney in Victoria

By Rebecca Park, Elder Law Section

Powers Succession 

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On 1 May 2017 the Powers of Attorney Amendment Act 2016 (Vic) (‘the Amending Act’) came into force to amend the Powers of Attorney Act 2014 (Vic)(‘the POA Act’).

The amendments to the POA Act: provide flexibility in appointing primary and alternate attorneys under enduring and supportive powers of attorney; streamline revocation of appointments of enduring powers of attorney and enduring powers of guardianship; clarify the matters for which power can be conferred under an enduring power of attorney; expand the circumstances in which a rehearing can occur at VCAT; and make a minor amendment to the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 (Vic).

Primary and alternate attorney appointments:

The POA Act now allows a principal making an enduring power of attorney or supportive power of attorney to appoint multiple attorneys, even where there is only one primary attorney appointed. For instance, a principal can appoint person A as their primary attorney and persons B and C as alternate attorneys for A. Similarly, a person can appoint persons A and B as primary attorneys and C as an alternate for both. Previously, the POA Act only provided for one-to-one appointments.

Revocation:

Prior to the commencement of the Amending Act, the POA Act provided that, unless stated to the contrary in the deed of appointment, an enduring power of attorney would only revoke a previous enduring power of attorney to the extent of any inconsistency. The POA Act now provides that, unless stated to the contrary in the deed of appointment, an enduring power of attorney will revoke the previous deed in its entirety. The new revocation forms can also be used to revoke enduring powers made under the Instruments Act 1958 (Vic) or enduring powers of guardianship made under the Guardianship and Administration Act 1986 (Vic).

New Forms:

The Powers of Attorney Amendment Regulations 2017 (Vic) amend the Powers of Attorney Regulations 2015 (Vic) to reflect the legislative changes. The new forms, as prescribed by the Regulations, can be found on the Department of Health and Human Services’ website: here.

More Information?

Additional information about the changes can be found on the Victorian Office of the Public Advocate’s website or on Justice Connect’s website.

 


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