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Legal and enduring guardians

Commonly asked questions about enduring guardianships:

You decide who makes your decisions, giving you a chance to discuss your wishes with that person, and making sure they are carried through.

  • Where you live
  • What medical treatment you receive
  • What healthcare services you receive
  • What other personal services you are to receive

Many people appointing enduring guardians want to make sure that someone has the ability to agree to or to refuse treatment for them, such as the decision to sustain them on life support.
It is important to note that an enduring guardian cannot manage your financial affairs. This is the role of a power of attorney.

Anyone over the age of 18 can appoint an enduring guardian. You must be able to understand the effect of the enduring guardian document, and that you have the right to revoke (cancel) it, as long as you still have the capacity to make that decision.

A special form must be completed to appoint an enduring guardian. When you ask us to assist you, we obtain the information needed to appoint an enduring guardian and find out your wishes for how this person should act. You should make sure that you have discussed your wishes with the person you are appointing.

We then draft the correct form, and make sure that appropriate words and concepts are used to make it a binding enduring guardianship. Depending on your circumstances, we may also recommend other documents confirming your wishes, which we will discuss with you.

If you have not appointed an enduring guardian and you lose the capacity to make important personal decisions, the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) may have a guardian appointed for you. In the absence of a suitable person, the tribunal may appoint an independent public official, known as the Public Guardian.

Bear in mind that a person appointed for you will not necessarily know what your wishes are. By appointing an enduring guardian yourself, you ensure that your wishes are known and understood.

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