Enduring Powers of Attorney must now be witnessed by a lawyer or a doctor (or certain other persons)

From 1 September 2015, the witnessing requirements for an enduring power of attorney have been significantly tightened.

The signing of an enduring power of attorney by the principal (the person giving the power) must be witnessed by two people. One of these witnesses must be either a person who is authorised to witness affidavits (such as lawyers, judges, members of the police force ranked sergeant or above, parliamentarians or justices of the peace) or a medical practitioner. Previously, it was only a requirement that one of the witnesses needed to be authorised to witness statutory declarations.

Importantly, none of the witnesses can be related to the principal or the attorney. Nor can the witnesses be a care worker or accommodation provider for the principal.

Furthermore, attorneys appointed are still required to sign a statement of acceptance but this now must be witnessed by someone over 18.

Anyone who wishes to make an enduring power of attorney should seek professional advice from a lawyer to ensure that the document is executed correctly. 

Phil Broderick
Sladen Legal
T: +61 3 9611 0163  |  +61 419 512 801

Daniel Smedley
Sladen Legal
T +61 3 9611 0105  |  +61 411 319 327

Rob Jeremiah
Sladen Legal
T +61 3 9611 0103  |  +61 418 500 363