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.

 

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.

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