An enduring power of attorney is a good idea in cases of any sudden or gradual onset of a disabling condition. The differences of general powers of attorney, enduring powers of attorney and guardianship are explained.


Philip Grano

Principal Legal Officer, Office of the Public Advocate

Key legislation related to powers of attorney

Last updated

1 July 2021

Powers of Attorney Act 2014 (Vic)

The Powers of Attorney Act 2014 (Vic) (‘POA Act’) created a new enduring power of attorney that replaced:

  • the financial enduring power of attorney (made under the Instruments Act 1958 (Vic)); and
  • the enduring power of guardianship (made under the Guardianship and Administration Act 1986 (Vic)).

Also, the general (non-enduring) power of attorney is no longer in the Instruments Act 1958 (Vic) but is now in the POA Act.

The POA Act ensures that enduring powers of attorney (financial) and enduring powers of guardianship made under previous laws remain valid.

The POA Act created a new, non-enduring power of attorney called a ‘supportive attorney’.

Medical Treatment Planning and Decisions Act 2016 (Vic)

The Medical Treatment Planning and Decisions Act 2016 (Vic) (‘MTPD Act’), which commenced on 12 March 2018, affects the powers of personal attorneys.

To appoint a person to make decisions about medical treatment and medical research procedures when a person has lost their decision-making capacity, it is necessary to appoint a ‘medical treatment decision-maker’.

The MTPD Act allows the appointment of a support person (see ‘Support people’ in ‘Medical treatment‘ Chapter 8.7: Guardianship and medical treatment.

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