Enduring Guardian

An appointment of enduring guardian is a legal document which appoints a person (your guardian) to make decisions about your health and medical affairs.

As with the executor of your Will, generally your first choice for your guardian is your spouse. If you do not have a spouse, choose someone you trust to look after your health affairs if you are incapacitated.

What is an enduring guardian?

An enduring guardian is someone you appoint to make personal or lifestyle decisions on your behalf if you lose your capacity to do so.

Who can appoint an enduring guardian?

If you are over the age of 18 years and you have the capacity to understand what you are doing, you can appoint one or more people to be your enduring guardian or guardians.

Who can be an enduring guardian?

The person you appoint as your enduring guardian must be at least 18 years old and someone trustworthy who will act in your best interests.

What sort of decisions can an enduring guardian make?

You can give your enduring guardian as many or as few powers as you like.

You may also give the enduring guardian directions about how to exercise their powers and decisions they make on your behalf.

What principles guide an enduring guardian?

The Guardianship Act controls the actions of your guardian. Basically he or she must act in your best interests and within the law.

How many guardians can I appoint?

You can appoint one or more persons as an enduring guardian. If you appoint more than one enduring guardian, you can direct them to act jointly or separately or both.

When acting jointly the enduring guardians must agree on all decisions. When acting separately each enduring guardian can make decisions separately from the others, or when acting jointly and separately the enduring guardians can act together or separately.

You can also appoint an alternative enduring guardian who can act only if the original enduring guardian(s) dies, resigns or becomes incapacitated.

 When does the appointment take effect?

The appointment of your enduring guardian takes effect only if you become unable to make your own personal or lifestyle decisions. Your enduring guardian may wish to seek the opinion of a medical practitioner about your capacity to make decisions before acting on your behalf.

If there is any doubt about your capacity to make decisions, a medical practitioner may have to assess your capacity.

Can I change my mind?

While you can make decisions for yourself, you can revoke the appointment by completing a Revocation of Appointment of Enduring Guardian form and by advising the enduring guardian in writing that their appointment has been revoked.

If you choose, you can appoint a new person as your enduring guardian, or change the functions or directions given to your enduring guardian while you have capacity by completing another form of appointment.

What happens if I get married?

A previous appointment is automatically cancelled. You can complete a new appointment if you wish to reappoint the enduring guardian.

What if someone is worried about what my enduring guardian is doing?

That person can apply to the Guardianship Tribunal for a review of the appointment. The Tribunal can amend or revoke the appointment.

What happens if my enduring guardian cannot continue?

If the person you have appointed dies, resigns or becomes incapacitated, the Guardianship Tribunal can, on application, order another person to be appointed as enduring guardian on your behalf.

When does enduring guardianship end?

The guardianship ends when you die, or if you revoke the appointment. A joint enduring guardianship will also end if one of the guardians dies, resigns or becomes incapacitated unless otherwise noted in the appointment.

The Guardianship Tribunal may also act as noted above to revoke the appointment if necessary.