It’s a mistake to think that powers of attorney are only needed by the elderly or the frail.
Accident, injury or illness can strike at any time of life, making you incapable of making decisions. But with a little pre-planning, this situation can be made easier. When the appropriate power of attorney is in place, another person has the authority to make hard decisions on your behalf, making a difficult time easier for carers to navigate.
Powers of attorney information session
On Monday as part of Law Week, Tullamarine House is holding a free information session on powers of attorney and when you might need one. There are several kinds of powers of attorney, and legal practitioner Philip Graham of Graham Legal will cover those which are most commonly needed.
One of these is the enduring power of attorney. This allows you to appoint one or more others to sign financial documents, including business legal documents, on your behalf. This is particularly useful if you are for some reason absent or become incapacitated.
Mr Graham will also discuss the appointment of medical treatment decision makers. This allows a specified decision maker to make decisions about another person’s medical treatment if they lose mental capacity.
And then there are advance care directives, useful when a person is stripped of their ability to make their own medical decisions due to terminal health conditions such as dementia, mental illness and acquired brain injury.
What happens when you don’t have a power of attorney in place?
It’s useful to know that you can only make a power of attorney if you are mentally competent to do so. If you suddenly become incapable, it’s too late, and your next of kin must make an application to VCAT for appointment as your administrator and/or guardian.
Who should come along to this event?
It’s relevant to any person 18 years or older – unless you are sure that you will never suffer an illness or accident that leaves you incapable.