Witnessing Requirements—jurisdictions where enduring powers are combined

Jurisdiction

Signatory

Combined enduring power of attorney (or equivalent)

Vic

Principal

Two witnesses—one person must be either authorised to witness affidavits or a medical practitioner.[1] The witnesses must certify that the principal appeared to freely and voluntarily sign the enduring document and that the principal appeared to have decision-making capacity in relation to making the enduring document.[2]

Attorney

Any person over 18 years. No witness required if attorney is a trustee company.

Qld

Principal

One witness being a justice, commissioner for declarations, notary public or lawyer.[3] Witness must certify that the principal appeared to have the legal capacity necessary to make the enduring document.[4]

Attorney

No witness required.

NT

Principal

One witness being a JP, Commissioner for Oaths, police officer, legal practitioner, health professional, accountant, CEO of a local government authority, social worker or school principal.

Witness must certify the identity of the principal, that the principal understands the nature and effect of the advance personal plan; and that in making the plan, the principal adult is acting voluntarily without coercion or other undue influence.[5]

Substitute decision maker

No witness required.

ACT

Principal

Two witnesses—one who must be authorised to witness statutory declarations. One witness may be a relative of the principal or the attorney.[6] Witnesses must certify that the principal signed the power of attorney voluntarily, and appeared to understand the nature and effect of making the power of attorney.[7]

Attorney

No witness required.

 

[1]             Powers of Attorney Act 2014 (Vic) ss 33–36. Witnesses cannot be a relative of the principal or attorney, or a care worker or an accommodation provider for the principal.

[2]             Powers of Attorney Act 2014 (Vic) s 33.

[3]             Powers of Attorney Act 1998 (Qld) s 31. The eligible witness cannot be the attorney of the principal, a relative of the principal or attorney and, if the power is for a personal matter, not be a paid carer or health provider of the principal.

[4]             Powers of Attorney Act 1998 (Qld) s 44.

[5]             Advance Personal Planning Act 2013 (NT) s 10(3).

[6]             Powers of Attorney Act 2006 (ACT) s 19.

[7]             Ibid, s 22.