￼ At last the control of your own life is in your own hands. The Powers of Attorney Act 1998 is a quantum leap forward.
The Property Law Act 1974 introduced Enduring Powers of Attorney in 1992 but they were of limited effect - financial matters only.
The new Act makes provision for financial matters but now also personal and health matters and allows you to give specific instructions that will significantly assist your Attorney. You can specify terms - both positive and negative. Most would appoint an Attorney who is very well known to him/her and who would be quite familiar with his/her likes and dislikes, the preferences or not, the “dos and don’ts”, a person who is highly trusted. It may be entirely unnecessary to have a list of “Please do this” or “Please don’t do that” and let’s face it, the list could be endless. But if you are anxious about something and want to make absolutely sure, then prepare a list.
As regards financial matters you can specify a commencement date, i.e. immediately or on some future date or some specific occasion, e.g. only upon losing mental capacity to manage financial affairs.
In relation to personal and health matters, the Power only becomes effective when you lose mental capacity. This includes not only when accidental brain injury or disease affecting the brain occurs, but even unconsciousness and when anaesthetised.
Health matters include everything – the selection of your medical provider, medications, medical treatment and surgical procedures. Your Attorney can also consent to withdrawing or withholding life-sustaining medical treatment if your status falls into a terminal phase or you pass into a state of permanent or persistent unconsciousness/vegetative state/coma. You too can make that decision when you have the capacity to do so by means of an Advanced Health Directive. Perhaps consideration is warranted as to whether you should make that decision or impose that life-ending decision upon your Attorney.
Sometimes the Power will necessitate both functions, e.g. giving gifts is firstly a personal decision and then the value of the gift is a financial decision.
Without an Enduring Power of Attorney, it may be necessary for some family member or concerned friend to apply to QCAT to be appointed as your Financial Administrator and your Guardian for otherwise the Public Trustee of Queensland may be appointed to those positions. Do you want an unknown Public Servant to do this for you and charge for that service?
Remember you don’t have a crystal ball. Don’t delay! Don’t allow the problem. Consult me now about making an Enduring Power of Attorney.
Consult this legal firm with nearly half a century of knowledge and experience first and get it right!
Need help with the law?
If you need a Lawyer for anything to do with Powers of Attorney, the functions and powers of QCAT or have an enquiry about any other legal matter, contact the contact G. R. Brown Solicitor and Notary Public between 8.30am and 5.00pm Monday to Friday by visiting the office at Suite 5, Sandgate Arcade, cnr Brighton Road and Second Avenue, Sandgate, Qld 4017 or by telephoning on 07 3269 8511 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org .