Power Of Attorney

A 'power of attorney' is a legal document in which one person nominates and gives legal authority to another person to act on their behalf. 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.

Power Of Attorney

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 your nominated attorney with decision-making power on your behalf. This document covers financial, personal and/or health decisions, and include:

Financial decisions

  • Paying bills
  • Managing property
  • Dealing with investments taxation or legal issues.

Personal/Health decisions

  • 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.

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.

General Instructions
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; and
  • Religious, spiritual or cultural beliefs that may affect your care.

Specific Instructions
Certain medical treatments require more specific instructions. An Advance Health Directive allows you to specify whether or not you would like life sustaining treatment withheld or withdrawn in circumstances such as; an incurable terminal illness or irreversible and severe brain damage.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