Appointment of Guardians

What is meant by an Enduring Guardian?

Whether it happens by accident, illness or disability, you may suddenly be in the situation where you cannot make your own personal, medical or lifestyle decisions. In that event, you cannot always be sure that informal support networks or people important to you will be available or their input recognised when there are significant decisions to be made on you behalf. An enduring guardian is someone you appoint to make these decisions for you if there comes a time when you are no longer properly able to make those decisions for yourself.

When should I appoint an Enduring Guardian?

It is important that you make the appointment while you are still capable, as you will not be able to do so if you have lost mental capacity. It is important that you choose a person or persons that you trust and can rely on to act as your enduring guardian. Once the appointment has been made, you should keep the document in a safe place accessible by your guardian(s) in case the circumstances arise where, through illness or injury, you become no longer able to look after yourself.

How do I appoint an Enduring Guardian?

You should discuss the appointment with your proposed enduring guardian to make sure that they are willing to take on this responsibility in the event you are no longer capable of making decisions for yourself. Your enduring guardian should also clearly understand your wishes in the decision making areas involving your health and lifestyle. You should then make an appointment with Solari & Stock Lawyers so that we can discuss your options with you and prepare a document that reflects your wishes. You and your enduring guardian will need to sign the document in the presence of an eligible witness, such as one of our solicitors.

When does the Enduring Guardian start and cease making decisions?

The appointment of your enduring guardian takes effect only if because of a disability, you are totally or partially incapable of making decisions. Enduring guardianship ends when you regain the mental capacity to make decisions or you pass away. An enduring guardianship can also be cancelled by you, the Guardianship Tribunal or the Supreme Court.

How can I be sure my Enduring Guardian will be able to make the decisions?

If it should be the case that people become worried about your welfare and your enduring guardian’s actions, they can make application to the Guardianship Tribunal for review of the appointment. If the Tribunal believes that it is in your best interests, it can revoke the appointment, confirm it, make changes to it, or make a guardianship order. One way to avoid this from happening is to routinely assess the appointment and your changing circumstances. For example, the appointment of an enduring guardian is automatically revoked if you later get married to someone other than your appointed guardian. Also, your health and circumstances might change in other ways and therefore you should from time to time, or when your health or circumstances change, renew the appointment as it may need to be changed.

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