An Enduring Guardian is someone that can be appointed to make lifestyle and certain medical decisions on your behalf, if you lose the ability to make those decisions for yourself. Your guardian can decide where you will live and arrange personal services, such as physiotherapy, hair cuts and most dental treatment. Much like an Enduring Power of Attorney, an Enduring Guardian’s appointment will endure if you lose the capacity to make medical and life style decisions for yourself. Your guardian cannot consent to medical or dental treatment on your behalf that you object to. You can appoint more than one Enduring Guardian and alternative Guardians if your first appointment is unable to undertake that role. Someone that you trust and who understands your values is a good choice. If someone has already lost their capacity to enter into such an arrangement it is possible to seek an order from the Guardianship Tribunal however, this can take some time.
An advanced care directive is slightly different to an Appointment of Enduring Guardian. Usually an advanced care directive is organised by the treating hospital for their own purposes and has more details about specific medical treatments then an Appointment of Enduring Guardian.
It is important to plan ahead for the future. By appointing a guardian now, you have security knowing that the person looking after your medical and life style decisions is of your choosing and formal arrangements are in place to allow this to occur without any uncertainty or family arguments.
For any further advice or legal assistance on this issue, please contact us at Coutts on 1300 268 887