You never know what’s hiding around the corner. Accidents, illnesses and traumatic events can happen to anybody, at any time, and while you can’t master the minutes between, appointing an Enduring Guardian may minimise future stress and financial pressures.
We know it’s not a happy thought, but if something bad happens, you want someone close to you – whom you trust – to be empowered to make legal decision for you when it comes to your health, and what treatment you may wish to object to if end of life was nearing.
What is enduring guardianship?
An enduring guardian is someone you pick to make medical decisions for you in the event you cannot do so for a short or extended period of time. They discuss and approve treatments – medical and dental – your living arrangements and care plans, ensuring all actions are in line with your pre-discussed wishes.
What is the difference between guardianship and enduring guardianship?
Guardians and enduring guardians have the same powers, but one is appointed by you (an enduring guardian) and the other is appointed by the for you by an external authority if you do not have an Enduring Guardian at the time of your accident, illness or sudden disability. Although the former can be a family member or friend, they may not be aware of your desires and requirements – appointing an enduring guardian is the only way to ensure your wants and needs as decided by you are respected.
What is the difference between power of attorney and enduring guardianship?
A Power of Attorney is your mouthpiece and manager when it comes to your finances and assets – while they may be able to pay your rent or oversee a property portfolio, they cannot approve a life-saving surgery or authorise medical treatments. Any enduring guardian solicitor will recommend appointing both a Power of Attorney and an Enduring Guardian to make sure you’re covered completely should anything happen.
When do you need an enduring guardian and why?
Right now. You never know what’s going to happen next, and while it’s healthy to live life normally from one day to the next, an enduring guardian will be on hand if you ever find yourself medically incapable of making decisions about your treatment. It’s not an appointment you can make after the fact.
At Thornton Storgato Law, we recommend organising your will, estate plan, Power of Attorney and Enduring Guardian in simultaneously. Minimise stress, save money and cut down on time spent in meeting rooms so you don’t need to worry about what may happen on a hospital ward.
Who should you appoint as your Enduring Guardian?
The person you select must be entirely trustworthy and strong enough to stand up to pressure from opinionated medical staff and other family members. A spouse, child, relative or best friend are all likely contenders – appointees must be over the age of 18. If you’re unsure about who to appoint, the Thornton Storgato team will help you explore potential options, responsibilities and risks until you feel comfortable with your final nomination.
How do you appoint an Enduring Guardian?
If you’re ready to begin the process, Thornton Storgato will prepare the required documents, ensuring you understand even the finest details before getting yourself and your nominated Enduring Guardian to sign on the dotted line.
What are the duties of an Enduring Guardian?
Your Enduring Guardian becomes your legal representative advocate at such time as you determine. This could be effective immediately or upon a medical professional (a doctor or neuropsychologist) confirms you have lost the ability to make your own decisions. They become responsible for ensuring any decisions to safeguard your wellbeing according to the directions contained in the document we compile for you. An Enduring Guardian is also tasked with consulting with medical staff, any donors if an organ transplant is ordered, close family, friends and relevant service providers. They must also agree to not allow their personal needs and values impact any decision-making and seek advice from specialists as necessary. You can give directions such as a “Do Not Revive” clause if you decide you do not want to be kept alive if totally reliant upon a ventilation machine but otherwise declared clinically dead.
Can I have more than one Enduring Guardian?
Yes, but it’s not something that suits every situation. If you do decide to appoint more than one person to speak on your behalf, make sure the individuals in question can work together in your best interests, free of their own bias, feelings or agenda.
Can the Enduring Guardianship document to tailored to my circumstances?
Every Enduring Guardianship document is unique. We don’t work from templates or assume your situation, needs and wishes are identical to anybody who came before you. If you would like to include a specific clause – including Do Not Revive clauses – we will ensure your Enduring Guardian understands their responsibility.
Should I DIY an Enduring Guardianship document?
No. Your health and autonomy is not an area you should leave to chance. An Enduring Guardianship document includes very specific details that you must understand in context; additionally, your law firm will need to attain certain authorities to ensure what you want to occur is honoured to the letter.
More and more people are becoming aware of the importance of nominating a trusted, family member or spouse to speak for them in the event something happens beyond their control. Ensure your voice is heard with Thornton Storgato Law.