Elder abuse: New Queensland laws to offer protection
NEW laws to protect older Queenslanders from financial abuse will be introduced into State Parliament today.
The laws will offer tougher sanctions for guardians, administrators or those holding power of attorney who rip off the elderly, and controls for those seeking to become a guardian or hold power of attorney will also be overhauled.
Anyone acting as a paid carer for the person concerned within the previous three years would be excluded from holding such power.
Changes will also be made to the capacity needed for an adult to execute an advance health directive or an enduring power of attorney, while QCAT will be allowed to appoint an administrator to exercise financial decision-making powers on behalf of a missing person.
Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath said changes followed multiple reviews, including a Queensland Law Reform Commission report.
"Issues of guardianship will affect most of us in some form or another during our lives," Mrs D'Ath said.
"While Queensland's current guardianship rules are working well, we must stay ahead of the community's changing needs to ensure our laws continue to effectively serve those with impaired capacity.
"These reforms will enhance safeguards for adults with impaired capacity, and improve the efficiency and clarity of Queensland's guardianship system."
Other changes include requiring QCAT to seek and take into account the views, wishes and preferences of the adult and their support network when deciding matters involving guardianship and other such issues.
A statutory exception to ademption will also be introduced, so if a property is sold or disposed of before a person's death, the intended beneficiary of that item will still benefit from the residual estate.