Planning Ahead


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Planning Ahead

If you are not sure what planning ahead is or why you’d do it, we highly recommend you watch this very brief and entertaining video put together by Queensland’s Office of the Public Guardian.

What are the chances?

(Office of the Public Guardian - YouTube)

Planning ahead usually refers to preparing for a time in the future when you may no longer be able to make your decisions for yourself – for example, decisions about your money, health or other personal matters. You can find out more about what is involved in ‘planning ahead’, as well as tips for successful planning on the Office of the Public Guardian’s website:

What does planning involve?

(Office of the Public Guardian)

Tips for successful planning

(Office of the Public Guardian)

General Powers of Attorney

A General Power of Attorney can only be used:


  • while the principal has capacity
  • for financial matters
  • For the time period and/or task(s) specified in the document

You can find the relevant forms or read more about the different types of Attorney documents below:


(Queensland Government)

Enduring Powers of Attorney

There is a lot to consider about Enduring Powers of Attorney documents and it is very important you understand the powers they grant to an attorney before you sign one. The Queensland Government as published an explanatory guide, which extensively provides:

  • Information about completing an Enduring Power of Attorney document
  • Information about revoking (cancelling) an Enduring Power of Attorney document
  • Practical examples, hints and tips
You can view the guide and all related forms below:

Below are just a few of the many other great sources that might be of interest to learn more about Enduring Powers of Attorney. The first link, ‘common questions’, can help answer tricky questions, like if an attorney document from interstate/overseas can be used in Queensland.

Common Questions

(Office of the Public Guardian)

Who should speak for you?

(Office of the Public Guardian)

Enduring Power of Attorney Factsheet

(Office of the Public Guardian)

Advanced Health Directive

An Advanced Health Directive allows you to document your preferences about future health care and treatment. It is only used when you are not able to make these decisions for yourself.  The Queensland Government has published an explanatory guide, which walks you through completing an Advanced Health Directive, as well as providing helpful information, practical examples, hints and tips. You can find it and related forms below:

There are however, many other great sources that might be of interest to learn more about Advanced Health Directives. Here are just a few:

Advanced Health Directive Factsheet

(Office of the Public Guardian)

Who should speak for you?

(Office of the Public Guardian)

Advance Health Directive webpage

(Queensland Government)

Statutory Health Attorney

A Statutory Health Attorney is someone who may make a decision for you, without being formally appointed, if you are unable to make them yourself due to illness of incapacity. This can happen when a specific need arises and there is no guardian, enduring power of attorney or advanced health directive in place. To learn more about statutory health attorneys see below:

Factsheet – Statutory Health Attorney

(Office of the Public Guardian)

Statement of Choices

The Statement of Choices form is another option in Queensland for you to plan healthcare decisions in advance in the event you lack healthcare decision-making capacity. Although these are not legal documents, they do help you express your values about health care treatment. You can read more about Statements of Choices here:

Queensland advance care planning forms

(Office of Advance Care Planning)

Wills & Estates

The Public Trustee website has a great overview of the different ways to make a will, whether it be via a solicitor, Will Kit or through their free Will making service.

Seeking other advice about Wills and Estates will normally require you to speak with a private lawyer. If you are searching the web for general information (for personal advice always speak with a lawyer), ensure that any information you find is current, from a trustworthy source and applies to the applicable State/Territory. Good places to start are:

About deceased estates

(Public Trustee)

Queensland Law Handbook

(Caxton Legal)