What is an Enduring Guardian?

Published 12 Jun 2017

As unpleasant as it is to think about what might happen in the event of your death or incapacitation, it's incredibly important to plan for the future, both of your estate and of your person. One option that could provide you with peace of mind is appointing an Enduring Guardian when writing up your will with a Parramatta lawyer.

Legal definition

Those who aren't familiar with the ins and outs of estates law might not be sure what an Enduring Guardian is. The NSW government defines it as a person who will be able to make health, lifestyle and medical decisions for you in the case that you're unable to make these decisions for yourself someday.

For example, it would be sensible to appoint an Enduring Guardian should you be diagnosed with a condition that could potentially affect your mental health, such as dementia. If this isn't done while you still have the ability to make decisions, you could run into serious issues down the road when you are of unsound mind and important decisions must be made.

Enduring Guardian versus Enduring Power of Attorney

Many people can become confused when comparing Enduring Guardians and Enduring Power of Attorney; the two titles are given in similar circumstances, but their respective duties are different. As mentioned above, Enduring Guardians are responsible for the decisions regarding a person's medical care and lifestyle.

Enduring Power of Attorney, on the other hand, is a document that appoints someone to manage the property, estate and other legal matters that might arise in the event of your death or mental incapacitation. This can either be a family member or friend whom you entrust the future of your estate to, or it can be a separate legal entity - such as a lawyer or other person assigned to you by the NSW government. 

How can I appoint an Enduring Guardian?

If you are above the age of 18 and are of sound mind, meaning you are mentally capable of making your own decisions, you are legally allowed to appoint an Enduring Guardian. This should be someone who is also over 18, who agrees to the responsibilities outlined and who you believe has your best interest in mind.

Once you've filled out the Appointment of Enduring Guardian form (available NCAT), you and your Enduring Guardian will need to sign it in the presence of a legal professional, such as a Parramatta lawyer. For more advice on Enduring Guardianship, reach out to us at Malouf Solicitors today.

Please call us on 02 8833 2000 to speak with a lawyer

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