Who can make a power of attorney?
A power of attorney can be made by anyone over 18 years of age with the capacity to make the appointment. Having capacity means that you understand:
- the powers of the attorney;
- that the power begins when you lose the ability to make medical treatment decisions;
- that you can revoke these powers at any time while you have capacity; and
- that you will not be able to supervise the use of the powers once you lose capacity.
How do I choose an attorney?
An attorney must:
- be over 18 years of age;
- have the capacity to accept the appointment; and
- agree to take on the role.
You may also choose to appoint an alternate attorney who can make decisions when your original attorney is unavailable.
Subject to satisfaction of these basic requirements the person you choose to be your attorney is ultimately up to you. In making your decision it may be important to consider:
- how much you trust the person you wish to appoint;
- whether this person will be available when they are needed;
- whether they are the most appropriate person to make these types of decisions on your behalf; and
- whether they are happy to take on the role.
The legal document itself is fairly straightforward and can be prepared by a lawyer.
If you require advice or further information in relation to any of the matters discussed in this article, please contact our Wills, Estates & Succession Planning team on 03 5273 5211.