While no one expects to lose the capacity to manage their own affairs, many people feel comfort from knowing they have planned ahead. Making appropriate arrangements for a trusted relative or friend to make decisions on your behalf if something does happen offers some peace of mind.
Appointing an enduring guardian differs from appointing an enduring power of attorney. An enduring power of attorney handles a person's financial affairs whereas an enduring guardian handles personal decisions, such as a person’s living arrangements, their personal services and leisure activities, and consenting or refusing to medical/dental treatment.
Just like a Power of Attorney, the appointees need to accept their appointment by signing the document - although in the case of an enduring guardianship, their signature needs to be witnessed by a lawyer.
Advanced Care Directive
Advanced Care Directives (also known as advance health directives, advance medical directives and living wills) provide family members, friends, enduring guardians and medical professionals with an unambiguous statement of your intentions and preferences regarding medical intervention and treatment. This can assist in discussions with family members and also with medical professionals. While not legally binding, a Directive is often used in combination with an Enduring Guardianship to ensure that your wishes are followed.
Statutory Wills - for when testamentary capacity is lacking (September 2020)
Questions to ask yourself when making a Power of Attorney (September 2017)
The importance of appointing an enduring guardian (September 2014)