Estate Planning

Powers of attorney

Types of powers of attorney

There are three main types of powers of attorney:

  1. General power of attorney. This attorney gives authority for someone to act on your behalf on financial matters, either broad or more specific. It’s important to note that this type of authority remains valid until one of the following occurs: it reaches its expiration date, it’s revoked by you, it’s cancelled or suspended by a relevant court or tribunal, you pass away or you lose your decision-making capacity.

  2. Enduring power of attorney. This attorney is similar to a general power of attorney, however, this type of authority continues even if you lose your decision-making capacity. With this in mind, this type of authority may be of great assistance, should you lose the capacity to manage your affairs through illness, accident or advancing age.

  3. Medical enduring power of attorney. This attorney allows the donor to appoint someone to make medical treatment decisions on their behalf when they are no longer able to make decisions.

Please note: Some states no longer use the term medical enduring power of attorney. For example, in Victoria the role of the medical enduring power of attorney is now fulfilled by the Medical Decision Treatment Maker and Advanced Care Directive.