What is an Enduring Guardian?
The Guardianship Act 1987 (NSW) makes it possible for a person with capacity to appoint an Enduring Guardian. An Enduring Guardian can make decisions for you in areas such as accommodation, health and services, if you lose the capacity to make your own decisions at some time in the future. An Enduring Guardian cannot make decisions about your money or assets. You can make an Enduring Power of Attorney to appoint someone to manage your financial affairs.
Appointing an Enduring Guardian
If you want to appoint an Enduring Guardian, you must complete a form of appointment. You can appoint one or more Enduring Guardians with the same functions on the same form. You can also appoint two or more Enduring Guardians with different functions, using the same form.
The person or persons 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, or approved officer from NSW Trustee and Guardian or the Public Guardian.
You can appoint one or more people that you trust to make decisions for you. You do not have to appoint close family as your Enduring Guardians. You should think about who would best understand your values and wishes, and who would have the skills to make good decisions for you.
If you wish to appoint your spouse or partner as an Enduring Guardian, keep in mind that as you both age, your partner may face health and medical issues which may affect their ability to make decisions for you. Many people choose to appoint a joint or alternate guardian to assist a partner in decision-making.
The appointment of your Enduring Guardian takes effect only if you lose the capacity to make your own major personal decisions.
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