Making an enduring power of attorney
You can complete an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) yourself but you may wish to first consider talking to your solicitor, the Public Trustee, a private trustee company, financial planner, or others who can give you professional advice tailored to your circumstances.
You can download an Enduring Power of Attorney form for free, or buy one from some newsagencies, GoPrint bookshops and legal stationers.
If the person you select as attorney agrees, they will need to sign the acceptance section of the form after you have completed and signed it in front of an eligible witness.
There is no general registry for powers of attorney in Queensland, but you must register the form with the Land Titles Office if your attorney buys or sells land on your behalf.
Keep the original form in a safe place. Keep a copy for yourself and give a copy to anyone else who needs to know its contents: your attorney, solicitor, doctor or accountant.
Changing or revoking your EPA
You can make changes to your Enduring Power of Attorney at any time, as long as you still have the decision-making capacity to do so. You will need to fill out a Revocation of Enduring Power of Attorney form. You can appoint a replacement attorney, but you must inform your original attorney of these decisions.
Capacity guidelines for witnesses
In your role as a JP, commissioner for declarations, notary public or lawyer you may be required to witness an enduring power of attorney. You are not just witnessing the signature of the person making the document; you have a statutory duty to determine whether the person appears to have the necessary capacity to make the document. If a person already lacks capacity, they cannot make an enduring power of attorney or an advance health directive.
It is important that you know your duties as a witness as there can be important implications for both the person making the document and yourself as witness. It is possible that a person witnessing an enduring power can be accountable to a court if a person’s capacity is called into to question. See the capacity guidelines for witnesses of enduring power of an attorney.
Getting a certified copy of your power of attorney form
If you would like to get a certified copy of an enduring power of attorney form made, the copy must be certified by one of the following persons:
- principal (the person who made the enduring power of attorney)
- Justice of the Peace
- Commissioner for Declarations
- Notary Public
- lawyer (barrister, solicitor, legal practitioner of the High Court or the Supreme Court of a state, including the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory)
- trustee company under the Trustee Companies Act 1968 (Qld)
Each page of the copy, except the last page, must be certified that the copy is a true and complete copy of the corresponding page of the original. The last page of the copy must be certified that the copy is a true and complete copy of the original.