Retirement & Estate Planning

Powers of Attorney &
Advance Health Directive

Powers of Attorney & Advance Health Directive

Planning For The Worst

There are three types of documents used in Queensland to appoint others to make certain decisions on your behalf, these are:
  • General Power of Attorney
  • Enduring Power of Attorney
  • Advance Health Directive
At Navigate Law we can assist you in appointing someone under a power of attorney, as well as the safe keeping of these important documents.
Frequently Asked Questions

A General Power of Attorney is a legal document which gives one (or more) people that you nominate authority to make financial decisions on your behalf. Either an individual or a corporation can appoint someone as their general power of attorney. This power to make decisions for you stops if you lose the capacity to manage your own affairs. This kind of power of attorney is most often used for commercial transactions.

An enduring power of attorney continues in the event that you cannot manage your affairs, and may cover both financial and personal or health decisions. If you have an accident or illness and can no longer make decisions for yourself, the enduring power of attorney gives decision making power to the person you’ve nominated, so it’s a very important document for everyone, young and old alike.

 

The kinds of decisions your attorney can make include:

 

  • financial attorney: paying bills, dealing with Centrelink, taxation, investments, legal matters and property management. You can also decide whether your nominated attorney can start making such decisions on your behalf straight away or at a later date/occasion (for example, you lose the capacity to make such decisions yourself).
  • personal/health attorney: your living arrangements, your health care, your diet and dress. These decisions can only be made by your enduring power of attorney once you lose capacity to do so yourself.

It is also possible to appoint different attorneys for the financial vs health decisions.

In Queensland, Advance Health Directives help you plan what medical treatment or health care you would wish to have in the event that you are too ill to make those kinds of decisions for yourself.

 

It is only when your cognitive health deteriorates that this directive will commence. You can specify exactly what treatment is acceptable to you and what isn’t.  You’re also able to make any special information known to medical staff through this document, such as allergies to medication or religious beliefs that impact upon the types of treatments acceptable to you.

 

Without an Advance Health Directive in place there is no legal means to make your wishes known about when to stop or withhold life-sustaining measures, for example CPR to keep your heart beating and assisted ventilation to keep you breathing.

"After a family health scare with both my parents left housebound, Lauren prepared our Wills, our Powers of Attorney and Advanced Medical Directives in our home. Nothing was too much trouble and we were treated with dignity and professionalism at all times."
Sue Kelly

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