Legally appointing someone to make financial decisions

This page provides a plain-English overview of the legal processes involved in planning ahead, as well as links to local information. To get advice about your individual circumstances it is recommended that you consult with one of the agencies referred to below or a legal practitioner.

How do I legally appoint someone to make financial decisions on my behalf?

  • You can do this by appointing someone as an attorney under a Power of Attorney document.
  • There are two types of Power of Attorney – General and Enduring.

General Power of Attorney vs Enduring Power of Attorney: what’s the difference?

  • A General Power of Attorney ceases to be valid if the person making it loses capacity (e.g. develops dementia), whereas an Enduring Power of Attorney remains valid even if the person loses capacity in the future.
    • An Enduring Power of Attorney is the best one for people wanting to plan long-term and to cover themselves if they lose capacity in the future.
  • Under an Enduring Power of Attorney you can appoint one or more people to make decisions on your behalf under one or both of the following areas:
    • financial matters
    • personal/health matters.
  • You can appoint one or more persons to cover all these matters. Otherwise, you can appoint one or more people just to decide on financial matters and one or more other people just to decide on personal/health matters.
  • Only a person or persons appointed under financial matters will be able to make financial decisions on your behalf.
  • You can nominate several people, specify if they need to act separately or together and set terms under which they can act (e.g. specify certain investment strategies).
  • You can nominate when the Enduring Power of Attorney for financial matters starts (immediately, on a set date or when certain circumstances occur e.g. you lose capacity).
  • There are two variations of the Enduring Power of Attorney form – the Short Form is used if you are appointing the same person(s) for both financial matters and personal/health matters and the Long Form is used if you are appointing a different person(s) for each of these areas.

Completing an Enduring Power of Attorney

  • You may want to get legal advice when completing an Enduring Power of Attorney for financial matters, especially if your financial circumstances are not straightforward. This might be through a private solicitor or trustee, a community legal centre or from the Public Trustee.
  • There is no central register of people appointed under an Enduring Power of Attorney in Queensland.
  • If a person appointed under an Enduring Power of Attorney for financial matters needs to conduct transactions related to buying or selling land, an original of the form must be lodged with the Land Titles Office.

Links to local resources

To view comprehensive information about General and Enduring Power of Attorney - including copies of the various forms to appoint or cancel a power of attorney, click here.

The Public Trustee can be contacted about Enduring Power of Attorney here or by calling 1300 651 591.
 

Step 3: Who will the doctor ask to give consent?