A new type of power of attorney is now available, effective 1 September. A person (referred to as the principal) can now appoint a “supportive attorney”.
A supportive attorney can:
- access, collect or obtain information to assist the principal to make a decision;
- communicate any information on behalf of the principal that is deemed relevant or necessary to the making of or giving effect to a decision; and
- do anything that is reasonably necessary, to give effect to a decision.
Importantly, the supportive attorney’s role does not allow them to make decisions for the principal, but is there to assist the principal to make decisions.
The supportive attorney can only act for the principal while the principal has decision making capacity. The supportive attorney loses power to act if the principal loses decision making capacity.
A situation where the appointment of a supportive attorney could be useful is where a principal wants his/her children to able to assist him/her with accessing information from someone (eg a bank or public authority), or to assist the principal in communicating information, but where the principal does not want that child to have the financial power granted under an enduring power of attorney. Another situation could be where the principal wants all of his/her children to act jointly under an enduring power of attorney but he/she is happy to appoint one child as a supportive attorney.
Download a pdf version of this article: Supportive Attorney – a newly introduced Power of Attorney
If you have further questions, or would like more information please contact: