Under the Powers of Attorney Act (Qld) 1998 (‘the Act’) Attorneys who are appointed for health matters are required to act in accordance with the Health Care principle.
In a nutshell, the Health Care principle requires Attorneys to exercise their power in a manner that restricts the Principal’s rights as little as possible. Attorneys should only exercise their power if it is necessary to maintain or promote the Principal’s health or wellbeing or is in their best interests.
The Attorney must seek the Principal’s views (orally, written or by their conduct) and take them and the information provided by the Principal’s health provider into account when exercising this power.
It is also important to remember that the health care principle does not affect any right a Principal has to refuse health care.
This means that decisions regarding personal matters, health and welfare matters including the following…
a) where the principal lives and with whom;
b) whether the principal works, the type of work and the employer;
c) the education and training the principal undertakes;
d) applications for licences or permits;
e) day to day issues including diet and dress;
f) health care; and
g) legal matters not relating to the principal’s financial or property matters
…are to be decided in accordance with the principle.
There are other guidelines in the Act, including general principles, the necessity to keep property separate, keeping records and avoiding conflict transactions which attorneys must keep in mind.
If you are thinking of appointing, or accepting an appointment as an attorney and you want to discuss the powers and obligations of attorneys, give one of McLaughlins Estate Lawyers a call.
We’re here to help.