Acting on behalf of someone else
When you enter a residential aged care home, it can make life easier and more enjoyable if you have someone to help you with decisions about your money and medical issues.
Having someone help – or even giving them authority to act on your behalf – doesn’t mean that person can act against your wishes. You can revoke any authority at any time.
Depending on the authority you give them, though, they can share your personal, financial and medical information if you don’t want to or are no longer able to.
It’s a great backup in case you find yourself unable to make decisions yourself.
There are several ways you can grant permission for others to act on your behalf. The main positions are:
- Administrator: assisting with legal and financial decisions (no enduring power of attorney appointed)
- Enduring power of attorney: responsible for legal and financial decisions
- Guardian: assisting with health decisions (no enduring guardian appointed)
- Enduring guardian: responsible for health decisions when you are unable to act
- Nominee: able to deal with government agencies like Centrelink, Department of Human Services and Medicare
(Actual terms may differ depending on your state or territory)
In most cases, you’ll need a lawyer to assist you; they’ll explain the position and powers to the person helping you, and be present when you sign over powers.
If you want to make a friend or family member a ‘nominee’, you can do this online here, or by printing out and sending in this form. Remember, nominees can make important decisions, so don’t just choose Frank from down the shops. Make it someone you really trust.
Read next: Dementia