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Powers of Attorney Act 1998 – 22 March 2016

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A general power of attorney in the approved form will authorise another to take action or make decisions on behalf of another (but not in relation to a personal matter). Revocation of the power is generally achieved by a written instrument in the approved form. This power is also revoked upon impaired capacity or death of the appointer (it is not enduring). Note: The concept ‘personal matter’ is defined in Schedule 2, Part 2 of this Act.

  • Sections 3, 5, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 25, Schedules 2, 3

An enduring power of attorney in the approved form will authorise another to take action or make decisions in relation to financial/personal matters (health matters). The power takes effect when accepted by the appointed person. Revocation of the power is generally achieved by a written instrument in the approved form. The power is not revoked upon impaired capacity of the appointer (it is enduring). Note: The scope of what is encompassed by a relevant matter can be found in Schedule 2 of this Act.

  • Sections 3, 5, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 41, 43, 44, 47, 49, 50, 52, 52A, 53, 53A, 54, 55, 59, 599AA, 60, 81, 84, 85, 86, 88, 89; Schedules 2, 3

An advance health directive in writing (and usually in the approved form, and accompanied by a doctor’s certificate) will authorise another to take action or make decisions in relation to health matters and may direct, among other things, life sustaining measures be withheld or withdrawn (in the future). The power in relation to health matters takes effect when accepted by the appointed person. Revocation of the power is generally achieved by a written instrument in the approved form. The advance health directive is not revoked upon impaired capacity of the appointer (it is enduring). Note: The concept ‘health matter’ is expanded upon in Schedule 2, Parts 4 and 5 of this Act.

  • Sections 3, 5, 28, 29, 30, 31, 35, 36, 39, 41, 42, 43, 44, 48, 49, 50, 52, 52A, 53, 53A, 54, 55, 59, 59AA, 81, Schedules 2, 3

A person appointed under this Act must act honestly and with reasonable diligence to protect the appointer’s interests. Failure to act in this manner may result in compensation being payable.

  • Sections 66, 105

An instrument executed on behalf of an appointer (principal) by an appointed person (attorney) must be executed in a way showing the attorney executes it as attorney for the principal.

  • Sections 69, 99, 100

A person appointed under this Act may enter into a conflict transaction only if the appointer authorises the transaction.

  • Sections 73, 105, 106

A person appointed under this Act may apply to the court for directions regarding the exercise of power.

  • Section 118
Reason for law

N/A

Relevant links

Information for Guardians [Public Guardian]

Publications [Public Guardian]

Guidelines for Witnessing Enduring Documents

The Public Trustee

Dying with Dignity Queensland

Critique

The enduring power of attorney and advance health directive overlap in relation to health matters.

Section 109 contains the phrase ‘parens patriae’. This phrase is not commonly understood by members of the public.

Free letter/precedent
Suggested further reading
Media article

Take control over the end of your life: what you need to know about advance care directives

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