An Enduring Power of Attorney is a legal document which enables a person to appoint one or more persons to act as an attorney to make financial or personal/health decisions (or both) on their behalf.
A personal/health attorney is given the power to make decisions on your behalf will only be entitled to do so if you lose the capacity to make your own decisions.
If a financial attorney is appointed, that attorney can be given the power to make decisions on your behalf immediately or at some later date (such as if you lose your decision-making ability). That power will continue even in the event should you lose the capacity to make decisions yourself in the future.
If you do not have an Enduring Power of Attorney, then your next of kin/family will need to apply to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal to be appointed as your legal administrator to make those important decisions. If a decision needs to be made urgently, then you may be disadvantaged by any delay in an application having to be made to the Tribunal and waiting for the outcome of any hearing. Accordingly, by having an Enduring Power of Attorney this will prevent any such delays. It will also give you certainty over who will make those decisions as the Tribunal may appoint someone who you would not necessarily wish to manage your affairs.
The ABC Four Corners recently investigated the appointment of the Public Trustee of Queensland in circumstances where a person had been deemed to have lost capacity and no longer capable of making their own financial decisions.