A power of attorney is a legal document in which one person nominates and gives legal authority to another to act on affairs on their behalfi. In effect, a power of attorney allows you delegate the management of your affairs to someone you trust. In effect, a power of attorney allows you delegate the management of your affairs to someone you trust. In Queensland there are three types of documents used to appoint others to make certain decisions on your behalf
Enduring Power Of Attorney
If you become ill or have an accident you may become incapable of managing your own affairs. In these circumstances a Power of Attorney provides the person you have nominated as your attorney decision-making power on your behalf. This document covers financial and personal or health decisions and include:
- Paying bills
- Managing property
- Dealing with investments taxation or legal issues.
- Health care
- Dietary and clothing requirements
- Living arrangements
General Power Of Attorney
This type of Power of Attorney is most commonly used in relation to commercial transactions. It is a legal document giving one or more people, nominated by you, specific authority to make financial decisions on your behalf. Importantly, this authority to make financial decisions ceases if you lose the capacity to manage your own affairs
Advance Health Directive
This type of document is a formal way of giving instructions for your future health care or medical treatment and comes into effect only if you are incapable of making such decisions yourself. You can make changes to your Advance Health Directive at any stage provided you still have decision-making capacity. It is possible to revoke your directive, cancelling your instructions, as long as you make the changes in writing and have a witness to your signature.
An Advance Health Directive allows you to express your wishes in a general way and provides the opportunity to include relevant information important to health professionals such as;
- Allergies to medication
- Special health conditions
- Religious, spiritual or cultural beliefs that may affect your care
Certain medical treatments require more specific instructions. Quality of life is important to many people. An Advance Health Directive allows you to specify whether or not you would like life sustaining treatment withheld or withdrawn in such circumstances as an incurable terminal illness or irreversible and severe brain damage.
This document also gives you an opportunity to give specific instructions as to whether or not you wish to receive life-sustaining measures to prolong your life. Such measures include artificial nutrition and hydration, cardio-pulmonary resuscitation and assisted ventilation