New laws on enduring powers of attorney

Posted on 12 Aug 2015

New laws on enduring powers of attorney will be introduced on 1 September 2015, significantly expanding VCAT's jurisdictionDefinitionThe authority of a court or tribunal to hear matters brought before it. .

The Powers of Attorney Act 2014 (the Act) embraces supportive decision-making and consolidates the legislative provisions for powers of attorney, currently covered by the Instruments Act 1958, and enduring powers of guardianship, currently covered by the Guardianship and Administration Act 1986.

Under the new laws, VCAT’s jurisdiction will expand to include the power to order compensation for loss caused by an enduring attorney contravening the Act.  VCAT will have the power to give advisory opinions about enduring powers of attorney and supportive attorney appointments, and to resolve disputes between attorneys.

Applications about enduring powers of attorney and supportive attorney appointments can be made to the Guardianship ListDefinitionA List is an area in VCAT that deals with cases of a similar nature. For example, the Residential Tenancies List decides cases between tenants and landlords, and the Civil Claims List handles disputes about buying or selling goods and services. of VCAT's Human Rights Division.

Enduring powers of attorney and guardianship made before 1 September 2015 will continue to be valid after that date.

The Act does not change the law about enduring powers of attorney (medical treatment), which are made under the Medical Treatment Act 1988.

For further information about the Powers of Attorney Act 2014 please see the Department of Justice and Regulation website.