Does a medical power of attorney override a living will?

Contrary to popular belief, a living will do not constitute what is usually associated with wills, such as inheritance distribution. A living will is a document that lets people around that person know the kind of care they prefer or want to avoid in the event where they are unable to communicate their wishes due to an injury or illness.

At Daniel Lawyers & Associates, we have experienced legal professionals who help clients navigate such difficult situations. Our experts advise clients to have their power of attorneys established. This is because one needs to have an individual that he or she can entrust to make hard decisions following unforeseen events. In situations, where clients have a very general living will, it becomes essential to craft an enduring power of attorney in Melbourne.

A power of attorney is a document that can safeguard a client’s interests in case of an accident or illness. There are typically four kinds of Powers of Attorney:  An enduring Power of Attorney (medical) authorises someone to make medical treatment decisions on behalf of the client in the event where they cannot make decisions for them.

Illness or injury that can lead to death is a complex topic that results in people avoiding decisions surrounding it. Thinking about such complex decisions can sometimes take a mental toll on clients and their loved ones. At Daniel Lawyers & Associates, we have experienced professionals who can help clients handle their emotions during the process of formulating such an action plan. It is pivotal for both, the personal comfort of the client and for the well-being of his/her loved ones.

A durable power of attorney for healthcare decisions can prove to be extremely helpful. It is important to understand that most states will grant this person the comprehensive power over end-of-life medical decisions unless certain specifications are provided.

For example, someone with a durable power of attorney for healthcare decisions will typically have the power to:

  • Offer or deny the consent for medical treatments as long as it doesn’t disagree with anything specified in the living will
  • Decide which medical facility the client should be taken to
  • Choose the doctors and medical personnel who can be involved
  • Contest in a court to either receive or withhold medical treatment
  • Decide how the body will be handled after death (including decisions regarding organ donation)
  • Access medical records
  • Decide on visitation rights

It is important to understand that a medical power of attorney can never override a living will. Therefore, it is essential to formulate a living will. With the power of attorney, one can give a person complete authority to make all decisions or limit them to only making specific decisions.

Who can override a medical power of attorney in Victoria?

  • If you are in full capacity of your abilities, you have the power of revocation.
  • By filling out a new medical enduring power of attorney form, you can revoke the authority of your current agents.
  • A similar procedure must be followed for the new power of attorney as the original.
  • This includes the presence of witnesses while signing the document.
  • The next step includes destroying the original document as well as its copies so that the new medical power of attorney can take effect.
  • If you are not mentally capable to take such decisions, the power lies with the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal to remove your current agent and appoint a new one.
  • When it comes to such important matters, it is advisable to seek legal advice from experts.
  • A power of attorney lawyer is required to prepare your enduring medical Power of Attorney in Victoria.
  • A power of attorney ensures that you have covered all possibilities and can help you deal with such delicate matters in a humane and tactful manner.

Do you need a lawyer for a power of attorney?

Lawyers at Daniel Lawyers & Associates can always review the easy-to-use power of attorney form, filled in by the client and ensure that it meets all the needs.

Call our reliable team on 03 9687 3211 or drop us an email at to know more.