If you are living in Queensland and have completed an Enduring Power of Attorney, if you move into the state of New South Wales or are taken to a New South Wales hospital for treatment and lose your mental capacity, the Power of Attorney will be useless in relation to health and lifestyle issues in the state of New South Wales.
In 1983 the New South Wales government changed the law in New South Wales so that an Enduring Power of Attorney no longer applied to health and lifestyle issues. For example, previous to 1983 your Enduring Power of Attorney allowed your attorney to sign on your behalf for finance, property transactions, medical authorisation forms or any paperwork to do with booking you into a nursing home or any other assisted accommodation. From 1983 onwards the legislation changed so that a separate Enduring Guardian was required to be executed to specifically cover health and lifestyle issues. The Powers of Attorney were restricted to finance, property transaction and other general issues. The change in the law was not well publicised and many people in New South Wales who have previously an Enduring Power of Attorney would be very surprised to learn that their document does not apply to health and lifestyle issues.
Similarly, Queensland residents who moved to New South Wales or who live in the border area and might be taken to a Tweed Heads hospital for treatment can also be adversely affected.
If you are unsure as to whether your Enduring Power of Attorney applies in New South Wales or you wish to obtain advice in relation to completing an Enduring Guardian, please complete our online enquiry form or phone Lesley or Sam or email us. A helpful Attwood Marshall consultant will telephone you to make an obligation free appointment and send you a fee information kit.