Powers of Attorney

Relevant legislation:

Instruments Act 1958 Part X1 (Powers of Attorney) and X1A (Enduring Powers of Attorney)

Medical Treatment Act 1988 Schedule 2 – Enduring Power of Attorney (Medical Treatment)

Guardianship and Administration Act 1986 Part 4 Division 5A (Schedule 4 – Enduring Guardian)

Ask to see any documents of appointment such as powers of attorney.

It is generally advisable for a person to have enduring powers of attorney in place so that the appointment of a guardian and/or administrator is not necessary in the event that the person loses capacity to manage their own affairs.

Appointing an Enduring Guardian as well as an Enduring Power of Attorney is also advisable for a number of reasons, including for Advanced Health Care Directives. Advanced care planning increases an individual’s choice and facilitates the receipt of palliative and end-of-life care that accords with their wishes (Productivity Commission 2011, p. 450).

However, enduring powers of attorney may also be misused and are not subject to the same reporting requirements and monitoring as appointments under guardianship and administration laws.