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Do you need an Enduring Power of Guardianship?

An Enduring Power of Guardianship (“EPG”) is a legal document in which you appoint someone else with the power to make decisions for you and act on your behalf with respect to personal matters (including your living arrangements) and medical matters.

An EPG comes into effect only if you are unable to make reasonable judgments about personal matters (including your living arrangements) and medical matters, which is required (this ability is referred to as “capacity”).

Guardian or Guardians

You can appoint:

  1. One person to be your Enduring Guardian with an alternative person to act as your Enduring Guardian, in the event that the person appointed is unable to act as your Enduring Guardian; or
  2. Two persons to be your Enduring Guardians together.

An Enduring Guardian can make decisions in the areas, or functions, specified in their appointment. The most common functions are to make decisions with respect to:

  • Where to live;
  • Healthcare;
  • Which personal services are required; and
  • Who you associate with.

There are some functions an Enduring Guardian cannot undertake:

  • Voting on your behalf;
  • Making decisions about the care or wellbeing of the your children;
  • Making (or revoke) a will;
  • Make (or revoke) an Enduring Power of Attorney;
  • Consent to a marriage or a sexual relationship or the dissolution of a marriage;
  • Make decisions about adoption of a child;
  • Enter into surrogacy arrangements;
  • Manage the principal’s estate on their death; and
  • Consent to an unlawful act.

When deciding on whom to appoint, you should consider who would best understand your values and wishes, and who would have the skills to make good decisions for you.

Planning ahead includes thinking about a time when you might need help with everyday life, such as shopping or housework. You may need extra care at home, or you might need to move to a nursing home or hostel.

Appointing an Enduring Guardian is a good way to plan ahead for possible changes in your ability to manage everyday life.

You can appoint one or more Enduring Guardians to make decisions about your care, accommodation and health needs if you ever lose the capacity to make these decisions yourself.

It is best if you talk to your Enduring Guardians about your wishes.

How do I appoint an Enduring Guardian?

If you want to appoint an Enduring Guardian, you must complete a form of appointment, which we can assist you with.

The person(s) you appoint as your Enduring Guardian(s) must also sign the form to show that they have agreed to be your guardian.

All signatures on the form must be witnessed by an eligible witness. An eligible witness is a legal practitioner, Registrar of the Local Court.

You may wish to plan your future medical care according to your beliefs, values and preferences. You can do this by preparing an Advanced Health Directive. See “DO YOU NEED AN ADVANCED HEALTH DIRECTIVE?”

Please note that neither an AHD nor an Enduring Power of Guardianship will cover your financial affairs so you may also need an Enduring Power of Attorney. See “DO YOU NEED AN ENDURING POWER OF ATTORNEY?”

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Important information and disclaimer

This publication has been prepared by AustAsia Group – Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation.

Any advice in this publication is of a general nature only and has not been tailored to your personal circumstances. Accordingly, reliance should not be placed on the information contained in this document as the basis for making any financial investment, insurance or other decision. Please seek personal advice prior to acting on this information.

Information in this publication is accurate as at the date of writing, 12 June 2017. Some of the information has been provided to us by third parties. Whilst it is believed the information is accurate and reliable, the accuracy of that information is not guaranteed in any way.

Opinions constitute our judgement at the time of issue and are subject to change. Neither the Licensee nor any member of AustAsia Group, nor their employees or directors give any warranty of accuracy, nor accept any responsibility, for any errors or omissions in this document.

Any general tax information provided in this publication is intended as a guide only and is based on our general understanding of taxation laws. It is not intended to be a substitute for specialised taxation advice or an assessment of your liabilities, obligations or claim entitlements that arise, or could arise, under taxation law, and we recommend you consult with a registered tax agent.

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