The Guardianship Act 1987 (NSW) makes it possible for a person with capacity to appoint an Enduring Guardian. An Enduring Guardian can make decisions for you in areas such as accommodation, health and services, if you lose the capacity to make your own decisions at some time in the future. An Enduring Guardian cannot make decisions about your money or assets. You can make an Enduring Power of Attorney to appoint someone to manage your financial affairs.
The appointment of your Enduring Guardian takes effect only if you lose the capacity to make your own major personal decisions.
An Enduring Guardian can make decisions in the areas, or functions, specified in their appointment. The most common functions are:
- Health care
- Medical/dental consent
There are some decisions an Enduring Guardian cannot make:
- Decisions that are against the law for example, euthanasia.
- Making or altering a Will
- Consent to medical or dental treatment when the person is objecting
- ‘special medical treatment’
How do I appoint an Enduring Guardian?
If you want to appoint an Enduring Guardian, you must complete a form of appointment. You can appoint more than one Enduring Guardian and appoint them with different functions.
The person(s) you appoint as your Enduring Guardian(s) must also sign the form to show that they have agreed to be your guardian. All signatures on the form must be witnessed by an eligible witness. An eligible witness is a legal practitioner, Registrar of the Local Court, or approved officer from NSW Trustee and Guardian (the latter two options are free of charge).
When deciding on who to appoint, you should consider who would best understand your values and wishes, and who would have the skills to make good decisions for you.
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