Flood & cyclone legal help
Produced by the Queensland Legal Assistance Forum
Power of attorney and
What is an Enduring power of I have been appointed an attorney
attorney? in an Enduring power of attorney
An Enduring power of attorney is an for a person (“the principal”) who
important legal document that allows has lost capacity. Their original
you (the principal) to appoint another Enduring power of attorney has
person (an attorney) to make personal or been lost in the floods or cyclones.
financial decisions on your behalf. What do I do?
Where possible, you should search
If the power of attorney is “enduring”,
your home and business as well as the
this means it continues to operate after
principal’s home and business to see if
you lose capacity.
you can recover a certified copy of the
Enduring power of attorney. This includes
I lost my original Enduring power of any safes and safe deposit boxes you
attorney in the floods. Do I need to may have access to.
make a new one?
Yes. To avoid confusion and further cost Alternatively, you should inquire with the
later on, it is strongly recommended principal’s solicitor, accountant, bank,
that you make a new Enduring power of financial planner or stockbroker to see if
attorney. they hold a certified copy of the Enduring
power of attorney in safe custody.
You can make an Enduring power of
attorney by contacting a solicitor If you cannot recover a certified copy
(visit www.qls.com.au or call of the Enduring power of attorney, and
Queensland Legal Assistance Forum
07 3842 5888) or the Public Trustee (visit the person has lost capacity, you will
www.pt.qld.gov.au or call need to apply to the Queensland Civil
1300 360 044). You can download an and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) to
Enduring power of attorney from the be appointed as their attorney. You can
Department of Justice and Attorney- contact QCAT on 1300 753 228 or visit
General website (www.justice.qld.gov. www.qcat.qld.gov.au
Assistance Forum au). You should get legal advice before
Depending on the complexity of the
making an Enduring power of attorney.
matter, you may need legal advice.
You can find a solicitor by calling the
I have searched and found a copy Queensland Law Society on (07) 3842
of my Enduring power of attorney. I 5888 or visit www.qls.com.au. For more
cannot find the original. Do I need a information, contact the Public Trustee
certified copy? on 1300 360 044 or visit
Yes, you will need a certified copy. For www.pt.qld.gov.au
more information, see sections 14 and 45
of the Powers of Attorney Act 1998 (Qld).
Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander
Legal Service (Qld) Ltd
What is a General power of attorney? Public Trustee on 1300 260 044 or visit
A General power of attorney is a written document that
allows you (the principal) to appoint another person
(the attorney) to make financial decisions on your behalf I lost security documents (eg mortgage
while you have the capacity to make those decisions (eg document, title deeds, shareholder listings,
if you are away on holidays and you need someone to bank letters, passports, birth and marriage
manage your properties — including buying and selling certificates) in the floods or cyclones. Who
— or pay your bills and expenses). might have a copy of these documents?
It is best to do a thorough search of your home and
As soon as you lose capacity, the General power of
business premises, including any safes and safe
Any General power of attorney relating to land must be
Your solicitor or accountant may hold security
registered in the Land Titles Office.
documents in safe custody. Similarly, your bank,
financial planner or stockbroker may hold security
I lost my original General power of attorney in documents. Copies of property documents (eg
the floods or cyclones. Do I need to make a new mortgages, title deeds, title searches, leases etc) may
one? also be obtained from the Land Titles Office with a fee.
If you have a certified copy of your General power of
attorney, you do not need to make a new one. The Land People who have lost documents in Queensland’s
Titles Office will accept a certified copy of a General floods can now apply for free replacement birth, death,
powers of attorney. For more information, contact the marriage or change-of-name certificates.
Land Titles Office on 13 74 68 or visit
Simply apply at a courthouse or a Queensland
Government Agent Program office, or contact the
If you do not have a certified copy of your General power Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages on
of attorney, you will need to make a new one. 1300 366 430 or email BDMfirstname.lastname@example.org
Birth certificates are important documents, particularly
I have been appointed as an attorney in a for identification purposes with banks and for parents
General power of attorney for a person who has whose children are starting school shortly. For more
lost capacity. Their original Power of attorney information, visit www.justice.qld.gov.au
has been lost in the floods or cyclones. What do
I do? People who have lost or had their Australian passport
damaged in the floods may apply for a replacement
A General power of attorney ends when a person loses
passport. For more information, contact the Australian
capacity, therefore you cannot use that General power
Passport Information Service on 131 232 for eligible
of attorney. You will need to apply to the Queensland
towns/regions or visit www.passports.gov.au
Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) to be appointed
as their attorney. Contact QCAT on 1300 753 228 or visit
Depending on the complexity of the matter, you may
need legal advice. You can find a solicitor by calling the
Queensland Law Society on (07) 3842 5888 or visit
www.qls.com.au. For more information, contact the
Disclaimer: This factsheet was originally produced in response to the Queensland floods in December 2010 and January 2011. It is intended
to provide general information in summary form on legal topics, current at the time of first publication. The contents do not constitute legal
2 advice, are not intended to be a substitute for legal advice and should not be relied on as such.