Enduring power of attorney

Find out where to make a complaint if you have concerns about the actions of an Enduring Power of Attorney. Find out what orders QCAT can make about an enduring document.

Enduring power of attorney

As long as an adult has capacity to do so, an adult can make an enduring power of attorney authorising a particular person or people to make decisions for them.

An adult can revoke an enduring power of attorney and make a new enduring power of attorney at any time as long as they have the requisite decision-making capacity to do so.

The power to make decisions about personal matters under an enduring power of attorney can be exercised by the attorney during any or every period the adult has impaired capacity for the matter and not otherwise.

The power to make decisions about financial matters under an enduring power of attorney can be exercised by the attorney at a time or in a circumstance specified in the enduring document or, if no particular time or circumstance is specified, once the enduring power of attorney is made.

If an adult loses capacity to make financial decisions before the particular time stated in the enduring document, then the attorney’s power is exercisable during any period the adult has impaired capacity.

Advance health directive

An advance health directive enables an adult to give directions about health matters and special health matters for their future health care, give information about their directions and appoint one or more people to exercise power for a health matter for them in the event the directions prove inadequate.

If the adult becomes seriously ill, unconscious or cannot communicate their health care needs, critical decisions can be made which reflect their wishes.

An advance health directive remains in effect until the death of the adult. It does not lapse when the adult loses decision making capacity.

Where can I make a complaint about the actions of an attorney?

Before making an application to QCAT, please consider whether the Office of the Public Guardian is the more appropriate avenue for achieving the outcome you seek.  The Office of the Public Guardian is an independent statutory office with a range of functions and powers in relation to an adult with impaired capacity.

The Public Guardian may investigate complaints and allegations about the actions of an attorney, guardian or administrator or another person acting or purporting to act under a power of attorney, advance health directive or order of the QCAT.

The Public Guardian has the power to suspend the operation of all or some of an attorney’s power for an adult if the Public Guardian suspects, on reasonable grounds, that the attorney is not competent.

More information about the Public Guardian’s investigations process, how to report abuse and the other functions and powers of the Public Guardian can be found on the Public Guardian's website.

What if there is a disagreement between an Adult's attorney and other people involved in making decisions for the Adult?

The Public Guardian may mediate and conciliate between attorneys, guardians or administrators if there is disagreement in making decisions for the Adult.

If there is disagreement about a health matter for an adult and the disagreement cannot be resolved by mediation by the Public Guardian, the Public Guardian may exercise the power for the health matter.

Further, if a guardian or attorney for a health matter or statutory health attorney for an adult, makes or refuses to make a decision about a health matter for an adult contrary to the general principles or the health care principles, the Public Guardian may exercise power for the matter.

What orders can QCAT make about enduring documents?

QCAT has the same jurisdiction and powers for enduring documents as the Supreme Court.

QCAT may make various orders about enduring documents, including:

  • a declaration about whether an adult has capacity to make an enduring document
  • an order about the validity of an enduring power of attorney
  • an order removing an attorney
  • an order changing the terms of the document
  • an order revoking (cancelling) the document
  • an order giving directions, advice or recommendations or
  • an order granting leave for an attorney to resign.

Make an application

Help and FAQs

As part of an independent tribunal, QCAT registry staff cannot provide legal advice.

Registry staff can explain and answer questions about how QCAT works and its processes.

Registry staff cannot help with:

  • whether or not you should submit an applicationwhether your application is under the correct jurisdiction
  • if you should lodge an appeal or a counter-application* recommending a specific lawyer to assist you
  • how to word your application, supporting documents or what to say at a proceeding* contacting a QCAT member or adjudicator directly
  • predicting likely outcomes of a case or appeal
  • helping you to prepare your case
  • advising what orders/decisions you should seek
  • explaining what you should do to follow QCAT directions
  • enforcing an order or decision of the tribunal
  • advising exact timeframes for resolution of a matter – this depends on your individual matter.

QCAT staff cannot provide legal advice (see right hand side bar for more information).

All parties involved in a matter before QCAT must represent themselves. Whether you are represented or not you can still seek legal advice about your rights.

In some cases, a party is automatically able to be represented. QCAT will always agree to representation:

  • for a child or a person with impaired capacity, or
  • if the matter relates to disciplinary proceedings including a review of a disciplinary decision
  • if the enabling Act related to the matter allows it.

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