1. Can I sign a Power of Attorney if I have a disability?

Yes, you can have someone sign on your behalf, although there are special rules that apply, depending on the state where you live. In general, the person signing on someone else's behalf must be over 18 years and independent (that is, not named in the power of attorney).

2. I gave my nephew an Enduring Power of Attorney, does this include the power to make decisions about my medical treatment?

This will depend on the law in your state. It will also depend on your wishes that you have stated in the Enduring Power of Attorney. In some states, an Enduring Power of Attorney does not include decisions about medical treatment. A separate document may need to be made, such as an Appointment of Enduring Guardian. 

3. Can I appoint more than one person as my Attorney?

In general, yes. You can appoint more than one person if you wish. You can appoint each person to make decisions separately (“severally”) or about all matters for which they will need to agree (“jointly”). However, in some states, such as Victoria, you can only appoint one person to make decisions about medical treatment.

When appointing more than one Attorney, you should ensure that the persons you choose are capable of making decisions together, for example, if both your Attorneys live in different states in Australia, it might make it difficult for them to make decisions together. 

4. Does a General Power of Attorney last after I have had an accident and I am unable to make decisions for myself?

No. A General  Power of Attorney is automatically cancelled when you lose your decision-making ability. An Enduring Power of Attorney can be used for this purpose and will continue to operate should you ever lose decision making ability. 

5. Can I choose anyone to be my Attorney?

An Attorney must:

  • Be over 18 years of age;

  • Be capable of managing your affairs; and

  • Be someone you trust.

An Attorney must not:

  • Be bankrupt or insolvent; or

  • Be your paid carer or health care provider.

This article contains information of a general nature only and is not specific to your circumstances. This is not legal advice and should not be relied upon without independent legal or financial advice, specific to your circumstances.