New Enduring Power of Attorney Forms for Queensland November 2020
From 30 November 2020 new Enduring Power of Attorney Forms will take effect in Queensland. If you already have an Enduring Power of Attorney don’t panic these remain effective provided they are signed before 30 November 2020.
The new forms are more streamlined and allow for notification of important persons when the power is exercised. Much of the previous information and detail remains so it is important to be aware of the consequences of appointing a person as your enduring attorney.
So what is an Enduring Power of Attorney and why do you need one?
Every person has the right and power to make their own decisions and sign any legal documents dealing with their financial and personal and health matters provided they have the legal capacity.
Legal capacity can be lost through illness or accident. For example if you are in a coma following a car accident you lack capacity to deal with your needs. Also if a stroke or dementia robs you of the ability to manage your affairs it is important that someone can takeover. If there is no enduring power of attorney it can be a time consuming and costly process to have someone appointed through the Queensland Commercial and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT).
While you have capacity you have the opportunity to appoint someone you trust to make decisions, take necessary steps and sign documents if you lose capacity. When a person is admitted to hospital or an aged care facility the first question is often who is the attorney for the person? And please provide a certified copy.
Because a power of attorney can be used to provide consent to medical procedures and sign contracts independent legal advice is always recommended and an Enduring Power of attorney can only be witnessed by a lawyer, justice of the peace commissioner for declarations or a notary public.
The original needs to be kept in a safe place and McLaughlins Lawyers offer to hold original powers of attorney in our safe custody. We can also provide certified copies if and when required. A power of attorney only operates while you are alive so it is also important to ensure you have an up to date will. Remember if your circumstances change it is important to review and revoke any out of date powers and wills especially if you divorce or separate.
McLaughlins Lawyers have been helping people with powers of attorney and capacity issues for over 60 years. We understand how important it is to make sure your trusted family and friends can deal with your affairs if something happens – call Teresa Kearney or Dianne Ball on 07 5591 5099 or email [email protected] for help.
McLaughlins Lawyers, your experienced Gold Coast lawyers, we stand beside you and are here to help you and your family.
Author: Teresa Kearney
Director: Ian Kennedy
Date: 6 November 2020