Power of Attorney Information
Appointing an attorney
Your appointed attorney:
|must be||must not be|
|over 18 years of age||your paid carer or health care provider|
|someone you trust||bankrupt|
|able to understand fully what the appointment means||your service provider for residential service where you are a resident (eg retirement village)|
|capable of looking after your affairs|
Types of powers of attorney
General power of attorney
A general power of attorney is often used in a business context by a corporation or an individual. It can authorise your attorney to deal with your financial affairs. It comes into effect on the date you elect (ie it is not dependent on you losing the capacity to make decisions). It may limit the extent to which your attorney may deal with your affairs. A general power of attorney is normally used for the purchase and sale of land (eg while you are overseas).
Enduring power of attorney
Under an enduring power of attorney (EPA), you may give your attorney the power to deal with all or any part of your financial, personal and health matters. An EPA for financial matters can come into effect either immediately when you lose capacity, or on a specific date or at a specific event. There are a number of other considerations regarding this decision. It is advisable to obtain legal advice to ensure your choice is fully informed.
If your attorney under an EPA acts in conflict of their duties and your interests (eg in financial relationships), they would enter a ‘conflict transaction’ which they can only do if you authorise such a transaction. It is best to discuss this with your solicitor.
Revoking an enduring power of attorney
Your EPA is automatically revoked:
- on your death
- when you marry, unless your new spouse is your existing attorney
- when you divorce, if your attorney was your spouse
- when you appoint a new attorney
- if your attorney dies or loses decision-making capacity
- if your attorney becomes unqualified, for example, bankrupt or a paid health care provider.
You can choose to revoke your EPA at any time providing you have capacity and understand what you are doing. Your solicitor can advise you on the procedures to follow.
Just as estates vary in size and complexity, the legal costs to prepare a will and power of attorney will differ. At your first appointment, ask your solicitor about the costs involved.
The information in this brochure is merely a guide. It is not meant to be a detailed explanation of the law and it does not constitute legal advice. Queensland Law Society recommends you see your solicitor about particular legal concerns.