What is an Enduring Guardianship? 

An Enduring Guardian is a person appointed by you to make your medical and lifestyle decision in the event that you are unable to make your own decisions. Your Enduring Guardian is appointed using a document called an Appointment of Enduring Guardian, which is prescribed by the Guardianship Act and Guardianship Regulations.

Appointed Guardians will only act if you meet the definition of disability under the Guardianship Act. Often, your appointed Guardian will step in if:

1) You are in hospital and cannot make your own medical decisions due to illness or an accident;

2) Due to dementia or some other degenerative disease, you are no longer able to make your own medical or lifestlyle decisions.

Why do I need to appoint a guardian? 

Often it is assumed that family members can make your medical and lifestyle decisions if you cannot make your own. However, family members will not automatically be able to make those decisions and may need to apply to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal to be appointed as your Guardian. By completing a simple form, you can avoid the stress of applying to the guardianship tribunal and you can choose who your Guardian will be.

In some cases, the tribunal may appoint the NSW Trustee and Guardian as your guardian, which can result in significant costs and administrative issues. It is best to elect a person that you trust to make your decisions for you if you have lost the capacity to do so.

There are other benefits of electing your Enduring Guardian, including:

1) You can elect multiple people to act jointly to ensure that everyone agrees with decisions before proceeding.

2) You can include additional powers in your Appointment of Enduring Guardianship regarding the withholding of consent to medical treatment where you are in a coma or in the final stages of terminal illness.

 3) You can limit the decisions that can be made by your guardian and specify what decisions you would like made.

What to do next? 

We suggest that you include your Appointment of Enduring Guardianship in your Estate Plan, alongside your Will and your Enduring Power of Attorney. Hulin Chadwick Lawyers provides a cost effective Estate Planning bundle that includes all of the estate planning documents that you require to give you peace of mind. Our Estate Planning bundle starts at as little as $660 for a single person and $990 for a couple.

Contact us now to have a free consultation about appointing an Enduring Guardian and how it can form part of your Estate Plan. Please call us on 4934 6899 or book an appointment here.