When an adult becomes unable to make reasonable judgments because of a disability, the Guardianship List of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) can select and appoint guardians and administrators if necessary. (See ‘Capacity and consent’ in Chapter 8.1: Understanding disability and the law, and Chapter 8.7: Guardianship and medical treatment.)
Generally, a VCAT appointment is not required if an enduring power of attorney already exists. This means that the cost and inconvenience of a VCAT application, a hearing, and ongoing periodic reviews can be avoided. So, it is a good idea to consider providing for some or all of the enduring powers described in this chapter, in case of any sudden or gradual onset of a disabling condition.
The person who appoints a power of attorney is called the ‘principal’.
Note that the general (non-enduring) power of attorney has not been included here as it’s not relevant to the area of disability and guardianship, as it lapses if the principal loses decision-making capacity.