Alternative arrangements to Tribunal appointments
There are a number of alternative arrangements available to adults with impaired decision making capacity who have family, friends and a support network to help them with important choices.
Many of these alternative arrangements can only be put into place while an adult has decision making capacity. They include:
- enduring power of attorney
- general power of attorney
- advance health directive
- statutory health attorney.
General power of attorney
While an adult still has capacity they can appoint someone to make financial decisions on their behalf when they are absent. For example, the adult may be overseas and needs bills paid.
In this situation a general power of attorney may be appointed. A general power of attorney ceases when an adult loses capacity at which time an enduring power of attorney would come into effect.
Enduring power of attorney
While an adult still has capacity, they can appoint someone to make decisions on their behalf through an enduring power of attorney.
An enduring power of attorney remains in effect until the death of the adult. It does not lapse when the adult loses decision making capacity.
Adults can cancel their enduring power of attorney while they still have capacity.
For financial matters, an enduring power of attorney begins whenever the adult wants. An adult can choose to give an attorney immediate power at a particular time or can set a time when the power begins.
If an adult loses capacity to make decisions before the particular time, then the enduring power of attorney begins as soon as the attorney is notified of the adult’s condition.
QCAT cannot give advice about completing an enduring power of attorney but can make a declaration about whether an adult has capacity to make an enduring power of attorney.
QCAT may also make a declaration about the validity of an enduring power of attorney, make an order removing attorney, changing the terms of the document or revoking the document
Access the application process.
Advance health directive
While an adult still has decision making capacity, they can record their wishes about their health and any medical treatment, and appoint an attorney for personal and health matters on an advance health directive.
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.
Statutory health attorney
A statutory health attorney is someone with automatic authority to make health care decisions on behalf of an adult whose ability to make decisions is permanently or temporarily impaired.
There is no need to formally appoint a statutory health attorney. A person automatically acts in this role when the need arises because of their relationship with the patient (eg spouse or primary carer).
QCAT does not make any decisions about statutory health attorneys.
For further information about any of these alternative arrangements, please contact:
Descriptions of QCAT's jurisdiction on this website are general information only. They do not definitively describe the types of applications on which QCAT can make decisions. The relevant legislation determines QCAT's jurisdiction. If you are unsure about your legal rights, you should seek legal advice. Your individual circumstances should guide any actions taken to resolve your dispute.