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What is mental capacity?

Mental capacity refers to a person’s ability to make decisions, especially regarding their health, lifestyle and finances.  Whether a person has capacity depends upon the nature of the decision being made and the different legal tests for mental capacity that exist. For example, a person may have the mental capacity to make some decisions, such as what groceries to buy, but may lack the mental capacity to decide whether to enter a complicated business arrangement.

Simply because a person has been diagnosed with a degenerative mental illness, such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, does not automatically mean the person lacks capacity for all decision-making. However, as time goes on and the condition progresses, a person’s ability to make their own legal, financial and personal/health decisions may deteriorate.


How can you plan for the future?

Bell Legal Group can help you plan to ensure your affairs are able to be appropriately managed in the event that either you or a loved one lose capacity (for example, due to an accident, illness or age-related condition). We can provide advice about preparation of an Enduring Power of Attorney to ensure that the people you trust to manage your financial and personal affairs are duly appointed.


What if a person loses capacity and does not have an Enduring Power of Attorney?

If a person loses mental capacity and does not have an Enduring Power of Attorney in place, the Public Trustee of Queensland and the Office of the Public Guardian may be appointed to manage their affairs. If someone you know is in this position and you wish to make an application to be appointed as their Administrator for financial matters and/or their Guardian for personal/health decisions, Bell Legal Group can assist you. We have experience in guiding clients through the process of making an application to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) for appointment as an Administrator and/or Guardian.


Professional legal help for you

Should you require advice regarding these matters, please contact our experienced team at Bell Legal Group by calling us on 07 5597 3366 or send us an email to law@belllegal.com.au:

  • Application for Administrator/Guardian Appointment
  • Application for an urgent Interim Order
  • Advice regarding contesting an Application for Administrator/Guardian Appointment