Information for Attorneys under an Enduring Power of Attorney under the Power of Attorney Act 2014 (Vic)
A power of attorney is where an adult appoints another adult to make decisions on their behalf. The scope and conditions of the authority will depend on the type of power of attorney document.
An Enduring Power of Attorney (“EPA”) is a special class of power of attorney which continues to have force even if the person who appointed you becomes incapable by reason of a disability to make those decisions for themselves.
What decisions can I make and when can I make them?
You may be appointed to make decisions regarding a combination Financial Matters and Personal Matters. Medical Decisions are regulated under different legislation.
The types of decisions that you can make will depend on:
The form of EPA document used;
When you were appointed;
The relevant rules and law (including any court or tribunal Orders) which apply; and
Restrictions and conditions contained within the EPA document itself such as when you can act and whether you are appointed with another person/s.
Please note that EPAs have changed over time. This advice relates to powers of attorney under executed under the Power of Attorney Act 122014 (Vic).
In general, an existing EPA which was validly enacted under old law remains valid however your role and liabilities may have changed with recent legislative amendments.
Please speak with RNG Lawyers if you have any concerns regarding the validity of your appointment and for advice as to the scope of your duties, rights and responsibilities.
What are my duties?
The general duties of Attorneys are as follows:
act honestly, diligently and in good faith
exercise reasonable skill and care
not use the position for profit (except for remuneration as provided under the legislation)
not disclose confidential information gained in the role of Attorney unless authorised by the document or by Law
keep accurate records and accounts
You may be required to produce the records and accounts of dealings for auditing if requested by the VCAT or the Supreme Court.
If you are appointed under an EPA for Financial matters you may make decisions regarding the Principal’s financial or property affairs subject to the terms and conditions set out in the EPA document. This may include:
Managing their day to day finances
Arranging personal funds for them
Paying the Principal’s bills and debts
Paying their rent/mortgage fees
Withdrawing and depositing money
Receiving &recovering money for them
You cannot make gifts to yourself*
You cannot pay yourself remuneration*
Future planning and long term decisions
Managing their investments
Planning accommodation options
Arranging financial planning advice
Arranging taxation advice
Must be in their best interest
Dealing with their assets (including real estate)
Arranging payment of rates, outgoings, taxes and insurances
Preserving and improving the assets
Buying and selling the assets
Creating securities such as mortgages
You cannot gift an asset to yourself*
Handling their general affairs
Liaising with Centreline
Ensuring tax returns are completed
Carrying on their business or trade
Performing their con
Personal Matters (Previously known as "Guardianship")
If you are appointed under an Enduring Power for Attorney for Personal Matters (previously known as “Guardianship”) you have authority to make decisions the Principal’s personal or lifestyle affairs, including:
Where they live and with whom they may live
With whom they can associate
Whether they work and if so the kind and place of work and employer