Parliament gave a third reading to the Statutes Amendment Bill before it rose for the year on 14 December 2016.
The omnibus bill makes amendments to 29 different Acts, with amendments to the Protection of Personal and Property Rights Act 1988 ("PPPR Act") of particular importance to lawyers.
While most of the bill will come into force on the day it receives the Royal assent, Part 21 - relating to the PPPR Act - will come into force 90 days after the Royal assent.
Form of standard explanation
The amendment provides for the making of a regulation to prescribe a form of standard explanation "for the purpose of explaining the effects and implications of an enduring power of attorney to a donor (which may include requirements for the content of the explanation and the manner in which it is to be given)".
Section 94A of the PPPR Act - relating to the creation of an enduring power of attorney - is amended to change the witnessing requirements for donor signatures. It also allows the witness to the donor's signature to explain the matters required to be explained by giving the donor a copy of the form of standard explanation.
Notice revoking earlier enduring power of attorney
A new section 95A is also inserted into the Act, providing for notice revoking an earlier enduring power of attorney.
The section provides that: "Notice revoking an earlier power of attorney is given when a copy of the later power of attorney is given to the attorney or attorneys appointed under the earlier power of attorney and, to avoid doubt, the notice may be given by a person other than the donor, for example, the donor’s lawyer or one of the attorneys appointed under the later power of attorney, including in the event that the donor becomes mentally incapable."