If you have parents who are ageing it is important that you ensure that Powers of Attorney are in place, especially if they lose capacity to manage their affairs. For people going into residents aged care, these forms are important. The new Power of Attorney forms are now available on the 'Office of the Public Advocate'. Below is some information from their website:
Enduring power of attorney:
A person who makes an enduring power of attorney appoints a person (or people) to make decisions about:
- financial matters, including any legal matters that relate to financial or property affairs
- personal matters, such as where a person lives and health care matters or
- both financial and personal matters.
The person making the appointment decides whether to give the power for all financial, all personal matters or for only some financial or personal matters. They can also limit or place conditions on the power of their attorney (or attorneys).
Enduring power of attorney (medical treatment)
When a person makes an enduring power of attorney (medical treatment) they appoint a medical agent who can decide whether to consent to medical or dental tratment, and can refuse medical treatment on their behalf. The medical agent can only act if the person is unable to make their own decisions about medical or dental treatment.
The decisions of the medical agent about whether to consent to medical or dental treatment take priority over the decisions of an attorney appointed for personal matters who also has the power to consent to this.
If it is important to a person that there is someone who can refuse medical treatment on their behalf then the person should make an enduring power of attorney (medical treatment).