An Appointment of Enduring Guardian is an important estate planning document and allows you to nominate someone else to make health, medical and lifestyle decisions on your behalf if you no longer have the mental capacity to make these decisions for yourself. Your Enduring Guardian should be someone you trust wholeheartedly to look after your best interests and could be a relative or close friend.
The Wills & Estates Team at Coutts are able to simplify the legal jargon and provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision when it comes to appointing another person to look after your medical and lifestyle needs in the future.
What is an Appointment of an Enduring Guardian?
An Appointment of Enduring Guardian is a legal document that allows you to appoint another person (or persons) to make decisions about your lifestyle, health and medical treatments on your behalf, if you no longer have the mental capacity to make these decisions for yourself. Someone who is your Guardian is able to help decide where you live, arrange care services on your behalf (such as in-home care) and give consent on your behalf for medical and dental treatment. The document also allows you to give any directions you have concerning your end-of-life treatment if you feel strongly about this decision.
An Appointment of Enduring Guardian will only come into effect at any time you have lost the mental capacity to make your own decisions and could be temporary or permanent depending on the period of incapacity.
What are the legal requirements for making an Appointment of Enduring Guardian?
For an Appointment of Enduring Guardian to be valid, you must be over the age of 18 years and have mental capacity at the time you are making the document.
The document must appoint one or more persons who are also over the age of 18 years to be your Guardian, but you are not allowed to appoint someone who is your paid carer.
You must sign the Appointment of Enduring Guardian in the presence of an eligible witness, such as a Lawyer or Registrar of the Court and your witness must sign a certificate that you understood the nature and effect of making the document.
What is the difference between an Appointment of Enduring Guardian and Advanced Care Directive?
An Appointment of Enduring Guardian allows the person you appoint as your Guardian to make decisions on your behalf regarding your medical, health and lifestyle needs. The Guardian is only able to exercise these powers when you do not have capacity.
An Advanced Care Directive is a document which allows you to express your wishes and values, such as any religious or cultural values, that you would like the person making decisions on your behalf to be aware of when carrying out their decision-making abilities. It is a way to say what healthcare treatments you would like to have or which healthcare treatments you would prefer to refuse, if you are in a position where you are so seriously ill or injured that you cannot make these decisions for yourself. We encourage our clients to make an appointment with their General Practitioner or specialist medical advisors for assistance to discuss and complete any Advanced Care Directive.
What are the duties of a Guardian?
Someone who is your Guardian under an Appointment of Enduring Guardian must always act in your best interests when making any decisions regarding your health, medical or lifestyle needs.
Their specific tasks could vary depending on any conditions or limitations you include in the Appointment of Enduring Guardian, but broadly speaking, a Guardian would be able to:
- Make decisions about where you live and ensure that you have stable and appropriate accommodation;
- Make decisions and arrange for the type of health care you receive;
- Make decisions and arrange personal services on your behalf, such as any haircuts or allied health care services;
- Talk to your treating doctors and look at your health care records; and
- Give consent on your behalf to any major or minor medical or dental treatment.
Ready to secure your future with an Appointment of Enduring Guardian? Contact Coutts today for expert guidance and simplified legal assistance. Our team will help you make informed decisions about your health, medical, and lifestyle needs. Safeguard your well-being – Contact us today!
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