What can an enduring guardian do for you?

Date: May 09, 2014

While we can't know what the future holds for us, we can plan for the worst case scenario and go a long way to covering all the bases. 

One way to do this is to appoint an enduring guardian during your estate planning. In New South Wales, this position is quite different to a Power of Attorney.

A Power of Attorney will act on your behalf in financial and asset affairs while a enduring guardian takes control of lifestyle choices if you are unable to.

If for any reason a health condition has meant you can't make decisions about where to live or what services you need, this person can make sure you get what you need. Your enduring guardian can also act on advice from medical professionals about what health care you require and can even give your consent to undergo medical and surgical treatment.

It is important when deciding who is should be your enduring guardian to contact a estate lawyer who can provide legal advice and help to prepare the necessary documents to make the agreement official.

Signatures on both sides need to signed in front of a witness who could be a lawyer or other NSW authority.

It is important to remember the enduring guardian's powers only begin when you are deemed incapable to make your own decisions and it will remain in force until you can.

When deciding who should be your enduring guardian, there is a couple different points to consider. They should be someone that knows your personal life and knows a bit about your past and what plans you had for your future. They must also be willing to consider and take advise from medical and lifestyle professionals and be able to carry out decisions on your behalf.

It is also imperative to consider their personal situation and whether that person would have the time or will to look after you in this situation. They should also be in close proximity to where you live so when decisions do need to be made, it can be done in a timely manner.

Some people like doctors, nurses and lawyers can't be an enduring guardian as you are unable to employ someone to fill the role. They also must be 18 years or older when the decision is made official.

For more information about appointing a enduring guardian, contact a estate lawyer who can simply the process and ensure the best person is selected.