On 30 November 2020 numerous changes were made to the law regarding Queensland Guardianship Systems. Some of the changes that came into effect include:

  • Changes to the general principles and health care principles;
  • Clarity on applying the presumption that a person has capacity until proved otherwise;
  • Clarity around what constitutes a “conflict transaction”;
  • Changes to the eligibility requirements for attorneys;
  • Limiting the number of joint attorneys;
  • Recognition of Enduring documents made in New Zealand.

Importantly, new Enduring Power of Attorney and Advance Health Directive forms came into effect that replaced the existing forms (which had been in place for over 16 years).

Some of the more significant changes to the Enduring Power of Attorney forms include:

  1. The ability to include your views, wishes and preferences in the document;
  2. The inclusion of your attorneys’ email address in the contact details;
  3. The ability to add a nominated person who your attorney must notify if they are going to exercise powers as attorney for personal/health or financial matters;
  4. Reducing the content in the actual Enduring Power of Attorney form (although it now comes with an Explanatory Guide of some 28 pages).

Since the new forms were introduced, many of our clients have not taken up the option to include views, wishes or preferences or include a nominated person to be notified each time the attorney acts. It is easy to see however that in some circumstances the requirement for the attorney to inform another person when they are acting (i.e. the nominated person), could provide a ‘check and balance’ which may assist in ensuring the attorney acts appropriately when exercising their power.

Importantly, on and from 30 November 2020 only the new forms for Enduring Powers of Attorney and Advance Health Directives can be used.