We’re all constantly reminded to ensure that our business, financial, and legal affairs are in order in case we become incapacitated or we pass away. But it’s equally important to consider who might make decisions about your lifestyle if you’re unable to make decisions on your own behalf.
That’s what an Enduring Guardian is designed to do.
Enduring Guardian – Legal Protection for Your Lifestyle
Your Enduring Guardian will act as a decision maker for you in the event that you can’t. You’re able to limit the areas (called functions) in which your appointed guardian can make decisions.
Usually, your Enduring Guardian would have power to make decisions about:
- Your Accommodation
- Your Healthcare
- Your Personal Services – including care, domestic support, and recreational activities.
The difference between an Enduring Power of Attorney and Enduring Guardian
Enduring Guardians and Enduring Powers of Attorney operate similarly in a legal sense. And the 2 documents are designed to work together to ensure that decisions can be made on your behalf if you’re ever unable to make them yourself.
The main difference between these two legal appointments is the type of decisions that your appointee is able to make.
Essentially, your attorney is able to make decisions about your legal and financial affairs. This might mean buying and selling assets on your behalf, making changes to your bank accounts or making business decisions on your behalf.
As outlined above, your Enduring Guardian makes lifestyle decisions on your behalf. So, they may decide to move you to a home or a new house or they might consent to or refuse medical treatment for you.
Advance Care Directives and Advance Care Plans
As well as limiting the powers (functions) you give to your Enduring Guardian, you’re also able to create documents that should guide their decision making using advance care directives and advance care plans.
These documents can be attached to your Enduring Guardian. But you might like the flexibility of having these documents operate separately to your Enduring Guardian, since this means they’re able to be more easily updated and amended.
Who Can I Appoint As My Enduring Guardian?
There are many limitations on who you can appoint as your Enduring Guardian.
You can’t choose a person that you pay to provide services, even if it’s in an administrative capacity. You also can’t choose a person related to any person that you pay to provide services.
The person you choose must be 18 years or older and must be capable of understanding the legal nature and effect of the Enduring Guardianship document.
How much does an Enduring Guardianship cost?
You can download an Enduring Guardian Appointment Form from the NSW Trustees for free. (Find them here)
But you might want to speak with an experienced lawyer before you sign these documents.
While they’re available for free, the free documents don’t necessarily take your unique wishes and commands into consideration.
What’s more is that these free forms don’t include any legally binding directives that provide your guardian with guidance.
In most circumstances upon receiving some basic details about your needs, we can provide a fixed fee to draft your Will or to set up power of attorney, enduring guardianship or a family trust.
Altria can manage the entire process for you including acting as a witness, protector and executor of your Will.