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New power of attorney laws effective 12 March 2018

On 12 March 2018, the Medical Treatment Planning Act 2016 will come into force. Below, I outline the changes that I discussed with our lawyers at Maddocks and the effect on existing Cleardocs documents.

Antonio Lima, Thomson Reuters

What are the legal changes?

Under the new law, there will no longer be the ability for a person to make an enduring power of attorney (medical treatment). Instead, a person can prepare an advance care directive and appoint a medical treatment decision maker.

An advance care directive can cover specific directives about treatment a person consents to or refuses and/or a values directive, which covers a person's views and values.

You can read more about it on Victoria's Health Services website.

The main points to note about this change are:

  • these changes will only apply to new appointments made on or after 12 March 2018;
  • enduring powers of attorney made before 12 March 2018 will still be valid under the new law and will not need to be redone.

Also, the change in the law does not affect the other enduring power of attorney documents. After the change a person will still be able to make an enduring power of attorney to appoint someone to make decisions about their personal and/or financial matters.

How does this affect Cleardocs solutions?

You will still be able to put into effect an Enduring Power of Attorney (Medical) VIC created through Cleardocs before 12 March 2018. Provided the document is signed before this date, it will still be valid.

From 12 March 2018, this document package will be discontinued to comply with the new laws and minimise any confusion.

Prescribed forms for the advance care directive are expected to be released shortly.

More Cleardocs information on related topics

You can read earlier ClearLaw articles on a range of estate planning topics.

Order Cleardocs Estate Planning document packages

 

Lawyer in Profile

Paul Ellis
Paul Ellis
Senior Associate
PH: 61 3 9258 3524

Paul is a Senior Associate in the Maddocks Commercial team with particular expertise in commercial agreements for the supply of goods and/or services, the Personal Property Securities Act 2009, the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009 and the National Credit Code and the Australian Consumer Law.

Paul's key areas of practice include:

  • Australian Consumer Law;
  • credit and securities law;
  • commercial law and contracting;
  • government contracts; and
  • trust and superannuation law.

Before joining Maddocks, Paul was employed for 13 years with the Victorian Department of Justice, principally as a Deputy Registrar in the Victorian Magistrate's Court, but also as a legislation, policy and project officer for the Department.