Qld Enduring Powers of Attorney
What is a Power of Attorney?
It is a legal document made by one person, known as the “principle” that authorises another person, known as the “Attorney” to do certain things and make certain decisions on behalf of the principle. Powers of Attorney are commonly used when a person is unable to manage his or hers affairs such as when he or she is overseas or becomes physically or mentally incapable of attending to such matters.
Appointment of an Attorney
The Attorney can be any adult person such as a relative, trusted friend or professional advisor. In addition, the law provides that you must be able to fully understand the nature and effect of the document. The Attorney must not be your health care provider (for example—your doctor) or your paid carer of a bankrupt person. I should be someone you trust and someone who is capable of looking after your affairs
Types if Powers of Attorney
There are two types of Powers of Attorney, General and Enduring.
Why have an Enduring Power of Attorney
If you lose your mental capacity through injury or the onset of a medical condition (e.g. Alzheimer’s or dementia) your spouse/partner/family cannot conduct your affairs on your behalf unless they hold an Enduring Power of Attorney. This is required to deal with Banks, Centrelink, transferring property or dealing with hospitals and nursing homes. Please note the Power of Attorney must be an Enduring Power of Attorney and not a General Power of Attorney.
In the event that no Enduring Power of Attorney is held and you lose your mental capacity, your affairs would be handled by the Public Trust Office. Although your family could apply to the Guardianship Tribunal to be appointed as an Attorney or Guardian for you, the easier solution is to have the documents in place now.
What is an Advanced Health Directive?
An Advanced Health Directive is a document that states your wishes or directions regarding your future health care for various medical conditions. It comes into effect only if you are unable to make your own decisions.
You may wish your directive to apply at any time when you are unable to decide for yourself, or you may want it to apply only if you are terminally ill.
The purpose of an Advance Health directive is to give you confidence that your wishes regarding health care will be carried out if you cannot speak for yourself. However, a request for euthanasia would not be followed, as this would be in breach of the law. Under the Queensland Criminal Code, it is a criminal offence to accelerate the death of a person by an act of omission. It is also an offence to assist another person to commit suicide.
Should you have any queries in relation to QLD Enduring Powers of Attorney, please feel free to contact our Wills and Estates Department Manager Lesley Barnes on 07 5506 8241 or email email@example.com.
Did you know that Queensland Enduring Power of Attorney is invalid in New South Wales for Lifestyle and Health Issues?
If you are living in Queensland and have completed an Enduring Power of Attorney, if you move into the state of New South Wales or are taken to a New South Wales hospital for treatment and lose your mental capacity, the Power of Attorney will be useless in relation to health and lifestyle issues in the state of New South Wales.
In 1983 the New South Wales government changed the law in New South Wales so that an Enduring Power of Attorney no longer applied to health and lifestyle issues. For example, previous to 1983 your Enduring Power of Attorney allowed your attorney to sign on your behalf for finance, property transactions, medical authorisation forms or any paperwork to do with booking you into a nursing home or any other assisted accommodation. From 1983 onwards the legislation changed so that a separate Enduring Guardian was required to be executed to specifically cover health and lifestyle issues. The Powers of Attorney were restricted to finance, property transaction and other general issues. The change in the law was not well publicised and many people in New South Wales who have previously an Enduring Power of Attorney would be very surprised to learn that their document does not apply to health and lifestyle issues.
Similarly, Queensland residents who moved to New South Wales or who live in the border area and might be taken to a Tweed Heads hospital for treatment can also be adversely affected.
If you are unsure as to whether your Enduring Power of Attorney applies in New South Wales or you wish to obtain advice in relation to completing an Enduring Guardian, please complete our online enquiry form or phone Lesley or Sam on 1800 621 071 or email us.
A helpful Attwood Marshall consultant will telephone you to make an obligation free appointment and send you a fee information kit.
With three offices conveniently located at Robina, Coolangatta – Tweed and Kingscliff, you can also visit us an office near you.
Attwood Marshall Lawyers
Northern NSW & Gold Coast, Queensland
Gold Coast Estate Planning, Estate Plan, Will Planning, Enduring Powers of Attorney, Testamentary Trust Wills, Advance Health Directive, Enduring Guardian