Wills & Estates
Appointment of Enduring Guardian (NSW)
Appointing an Enduring Guardian
If you live in NSW, it is possible to appoint another person to make medical, health and lifestyle decisions on your behalf when you lose the capacity to make those decisions yourself.
An Enduring Guardian is complementary to a Power of Attorney, and along with your Will, forms an important part of your Estate Plan.
Appointing an Enduring Guardian will provide you with the confidence and security knowing that if you lose the ability to make decisions on your behalf, a close friend or family member (i.e. someone you know and trust) will be able to make decisions for your best interests with respect to medical, health and lifestyle.
You can appoint an Enduring Guardian to make the following decisions:
- to decide where you live including decisions regarding respite care, nursing home or hospital
- to decide what health care you receive
- to decide what personal services you should be provided
- To decide on medical and dental treatment
Your Enduring Guardian cannot:
- Make a will for you
- Vote in an election on your behalf
- Consent to marriage
- Manage your finances
- Override your objections to medical treatment
You can appoint anybody over the age of 18 years as your Enduring Guardian provided they are of sound mind.
Regardless of who they are, the most important thing is that you trust them to make decisions on your behalf.
It is also possible to appointment multiple people to act as your Enduring Guardian. If you do this, you will need to decide whether you will authorise them to act independently of each other, or whether you will require them to make decisions together.
An Enduring Guardian can only act for you once you lose the capacity to make decision for yourself.
Sometimes it is extremely clear when somebody lacks capacity (such as when they are in a coma), however sometimes it may be necessary to obtain a medical opinion from a doctor to certify that a person lacks capacity.
A person will cease to be appointed as Enduring Guardian when one of the following occurs:
- The appointment is specifically revoked by the appointor
- The appointer marries (unless the appointor marries the Enduring Guardian)
- The appointor dies
- If the Guardianship Tribunal revokes the appointment
The Enduring Guardian appointment may also cease to have effect if multiple guardians are appointed to act jointly and one of them dies, resigns or becomes incapacitated.