When people think about their future, they often assume that they will be able to make their own decisions throughout their lifetime, but do not consider making formal arrangements if they are unable to make their own decisions because of a temporary or permanent loss of capacity.
You cannot always be sure that informal support networks or people important to you will be able to make significant decisions on your behalf.
In the absence of formal documentation, it may be left to others not known to you in a Court or Tribunal to make decisions about who will be appointed to make decisions for you.
It is important to understand that a Power of Attorney gives authority to the appointed Attorney only with respect to your legal and financial affairs. It will not authorise another person to make decisions for you relating to your personal affairs. An Appointment of Enduring Guardian will enable the appointed guardian to make personal and lifestyle decisions for you for so long as you are incapable of doing so yourself.
Your Enduring Guardian can only make decisions about the things you authorise in the document but may include:
- where you live;
- what services you receive (such as homecare services, meals on wheels, in home nursing care);
- healthcare, medical, and dental treatment you receive; and
- consult on decisions during your end-of-life stage and advance care plans.
Your enduring guardian cannot make decisions about:
- your legal and financial affairs;
- anything that may be against the law;
- consenting to major treatments such as fertility treatment or sterilisation or treatments that have not yet been reviewed by medical industry experts; and
- making or changing your Will.
You should be careful to appoint the right person, someone who:
- is willing to take on the role;
- can make decisions in difficult and emotional circumstances;
- understands your needs, wishes, values and beliefs;
- is easy to contact when decisions need to be made; and
- understands they won’t be paid to undertake this role.
You cannot appoint a professional person like your doctor or assisted living facility provider to be your Enduring Guardian unless they are your carer and are receiving the Centrelink Carer’s Allowance.
You must be over 18 years and have the capacity to understand the nature and extent of the appointment being made.
- comprehensive fact-finding discussions with you and your treating medical practitioner where necessary;
- legal assessment of your capacity to make an enduring guardian appointment;
- obtaining your instructions regarding the extent of the rights to be exercised by your guardian;
- obtaining your instructions on your end-of-life care and resuscitation in the event of terminal illness;
- drafting your Appointment of Enduring Guardian; and
- attending on you and your guardian to sign the appointment and acceptance of appointment
You need a lawyer with extensive experience in the issues surrounding appointments. Call The Law Office of Conrad Curry for a no obligations discussion about the appointment of your lifetime decision makers or book online.