6 min read

Power of Attorney in Queensland: A Comprehensive Guide

Power of Attorney forms, responsibilities, and legalities differ by state. In this article, we discuss Power of Attorney in Queensland, covering the specific powers, rules, and resources to help you through this process from the comfort of your own home.


Read on for:

  • What a Power of Attorney is

  • The different types of POA in Queensland

  • What each Power of Attorney controls

  • Why Queensland law on capacity matters

  • How to appoint and make changes to your Power of Attorney document

  • How Safewill can help you

What is a Power of Attorney?

A Power of Attorney is a legal document that grants authority to an appointed person to make decisions on your behalf if illness, injury or travel prevents you from doing so. Depending on the type of POA, this person can make financial, legal, or health decisions for you; selecting a trusted person suited to these specific responsibilities is therefore extremely important and ensures your wishes are carried out on your behalf. From enduring to general, and medical to financial power of attorney, we delve into these different types below.

What Are The Different Types of Power of Attorney in Queensland?

There are two different types of Power of Attorney in Queensland:

1. General POA: represents a temporary arrangement that grants authority for a principle to make decisions on your behalf for a specified length of time. General POA’s are relevant if you're unable to manage your affairs whilst overseas, or suffering from a temporary illness or injury.

2. Enduring POA: represents a more permanent arrangement that grants authority for a principle to make decisions on your behalf if you become unable to do so.

What Are The Responsibilities of a Power of Attorney in Queensland?

A general or Enduring Power of Attorney is allowed to make decisions on financial and legal matters. These duties include:

  • Enact decisions in line with your wishes and best interests

  • Avoid conflicts of interest

  • Act with honesty and transparency

  • Collaborate with you and others in the community to make decisions

  • Record keeping of decisions

  • Protect you from exploitation

  • Act within time frame & power limitations of authority

Depending on the type of POA, this financial or legal decision making authority will be granted at a specified time, event or if you lose capacity. You can choose specific or broad authority for your POA to take charge of; whether that covers general financial matters or specific control of property assets. In contrast, a POA does not have the authority to carry out health care/ personal decisions for you in Queensland, even if you lose capacity. To grant someone authority to make these decisions for you if you no longer can requires appointing an Enduring Guardian.

What Does 'Capacity' Mean in Queensland Law?

Capacity refers to the ability to make your own decisions. In Queensland, its ‘capacity assumed until proven otherwise’ logic. An enduring POA or enduring guardianship will therefore only kick-start if evidence is gathered by doctors and specialists to show a loss of this decision making ability.

Who to Appoint as Your Power of Attorney

In Queensland, your Power of Attorney can be anyone over the age of 18 who has full capacity and understanding of the POA role. This could be a family member, trusted friend, lawyer or accountant. Your attorney cannot be:

  • A recent paid carer

  • Your health provider

  • Your residential services provider

  • Someone with a history of bankruptcy of financial crime

  • Someone with financial conflicts of interest

You can appoint multiple attorneys to act individually, jointly, or by majority. Additionally, you can appoint successive or alternative attorney options:

  • A successive attorney appoints a replacement if your originally appointed attorney becomes unable to fulfil the role due to loss of capacity, ill health or retirement from the role.

  • An alternative attorney can be appointed to take over the original attorney’s role if they are overseas, or temporarily unable to complete the role

How to Officially Appoint a Power of Attorney in Queensland

To officially appoint chosen attorneys, you'll need to fill out a POA form and have it witnessed by a qualified witness; such as a lawyer, justice of the peace, or a medical practitioner. In Queensland, remote witnessing of POA forms ended in July 2021 and enduring power of attorney now require in person witnessing. A general POA form can however be witnessed remotely under current Queensland law. The required forms differ depending on the type of POA you appoint:

The general power of attorney form for Queensland is a standard form available on the Government website.

The enduring power of attorney form will depend on how you’ve allocated tasks to your attorneys, being either the:

  • The ‘short form’ (Form 2, version 4) for attorneys appointed for only personal/ health matters or only financial matters, as well as attorneys which cover both.

  • The ‘long form’ (Form 3, version 4) is for appointing different attorneys for persona/ health matters and financial matters

For all of the above forms, the residing attorney must also sign the ‘Attorney acceptance’ section to officially grant them authority when the time comes. For this reason, it’s important to provide all attorney’s with a copy of the POA form.

Does a POA Need to be Registered in Queensland?

No. A POA is only required to be registered with Titles Queensland if they will be buying and selling real estate. Whilst registration is not required if this is not the case, it's important to provide a copy of the POA form to your financial and healthcare institutions. At this time you should be sharing your wishes and preferences with the attorney’s and surrounding family, so that they can make decisions that align with your values and beliefs.

Can I Make Changes to a Power of Attorney in Queensland?

It's important to review and update your power of attorney regularly to ensure that it reflects your current wishes and circumstances. In Queensland, changes or cancelling your POA requires still having capacity. If this is no longer the case, someone with a vested interest in your welfare must apply on your behalf. Assuming this person is not your existing enduring guardian, this requires an application for enduring guardianship order to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT).

If you still have capacity, you’ll need to seek legal advice, complete a revocation form and inform Titles Queensland to make changes to registered power of attorney’s. Notifying your estate attorney and other institutions also provides a valuable written record of any POA changes.

How Safewill Can Help With a Queensland Power of Attorney

Safewill offers expert and affordable legal guidance on appointing or changing your power of attorney or enduring guardian in Queensland. We'll help you through this tricky process with lower cost, greater ease and with more compassion than anyone else in the industry. To find out more, get in touch for a one-to-one discussion on 1800 103 310 , or live chat now.

Last updated 10th January 2023
1 D69 B666 12 C4 4 E1 A B9 D0 A98325 C7 A6 B9 4 5005 c
Hannah Comiskey
For Charities
FAQs Blog
The best way to contact our Customer Care team is via our
Call us at
1800 10 33 10
Safewill acknowledges all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Traditional Custodians of Country and recognises their continuing connection to land, sea, culture and community. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.
Safewill is an online service providing streamlined forms and information. Safewill is not a law firm or a substitute for a lawyer’s advice about complex estate planning issues.