Changes to Queensland’s guardianship laws will take effect today, 30 November 2020. The updates are intended to simplify the process for Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA), including:
- More user-friendly enduring power of attorney and advance health directive forms – find them here
- Short-form EPA for those wishing to appoint the same individual or group of people to look after your financial, personal and health matters
- Long-form EPA if you wish to appoint different person(s) to look after different matters, ie perhaps a family member for personal and health matters, and a neutral friend or trusted professional to represent your financial wishes
- Forms include new opportunity to outline your views and wishes including lifestyle, cultural and religious preferences such as where and how you choose to live
- New guidelines for capacity assessments complete with checklists, tips, examples and practical guidance – find them here.
The new forms also allow you to include additional instruction and preferences that you could not previously. These wishes must be taken into consideration by your attorney acting on your behalf. The accompanying guidance around capacity also works to protect you in stating your wishes freely and voluntarily.
Most Enduring Power of Attorneys or Advance Health Directives made prior to 29 November 2020 will remain valid. It’s important to note the exception is for residents of a residential service who used an attorney who is a service provider for that residential service.
These changes represent a good opportunity to ensure your EPA or health directive is still valid and reflects your current wishes. If you don’t have an Enduring Power of Attorney, now is also a good time to speak to your solicitor and make use of the simplified forms and processes to put one in place.