Powers of Attorney, Enduring Powers of Attorney and Advance Health Directives
There are three types of documents used in Queensland to appoint others to make certain decisions on your behalf:
- General Power of Attorney
- Enduring Power of Attorney
- Advance Health Directive
General Power of Attorney
A General Power of Attorney is a legal document which gives one or more people you nominate specific authority to make financial decisions on your behalf. The authority to make decisions ceases if you lose the capacity to manage your own affairs. This kind of Power of Attorney is most often used for commercial transactions.
Enduring Power of Attorney
An Enduring Power of Attorney continues in the event that you cannot manage your affairs and covers both financial and personal or health decisions. If you have an accident or illness and cannot make decisions for yourself, the enduring Power of Attorney gives decision making power to the person you have nominated, so it is a very important document for everyone, young and old alike.
The kinds of decisions your Attorney can make include:
- Financial decisions: paying bills, dealing with Centrelink, taxation, investments, legal matters and property management
- Personal/Health decisions: your living arrangements, your health care, your diet and dress.
Advance Health Directive
In Queensland, an Advance Health Directive allows you to direct what medical treatment or health care you wish to have in the event that you are too ill to make those kinds of decisions for yourself.
You can specify exactly what treatment is acceptable to you and what isn't or you can appoint an Attorney you trust to make those kinds of decisions on your behalf. 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 affect the types of treatments acceptable to you.
An Advance Health Directive is the only means by which you can make your wishes known regarding, for instance, when to cease any life-sustaining measures including CPR, assisted ventilation or intravenous feeding.
We believe that there is merit in having both an Advance Health Directive and Enduring Power of Attorney in place. If you become so ill that you cannot make decisions for yourself, these two documents together allow your Attorney to make necessary decisions on your behalf.
Contact us to arrange an appointment with one of our qualified and committed Solicitors.
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