What is an enduring power of guardianship?
An Enduring Power of Guardianship (EPG) is a legal document. It allows you (appointor) to choose a person (guardian) to make significant personal, lifestyle and medical treatment decisions on your behalf. An EPG will be effective if you no longer have the mental capacity to make these kinds of decisions for yourself.
Who can execute an EPG?
You can execute an EPG if you are over 18 years old and have full legal capacity.
You can appoint any person over the age of 18 who has full mental capacity to be your enduring guardian.
Who should I appoint as my guardian?
Unlike an EPA, you can appoint more than two Enduring Guardians or substitute Enduring Guardians. However, like when appointing an Attorney, you should only appoint a person or persons that you trust will make decisions in your best interests.
Can I revoke my EPG?
You may only revoke your EPG while you have legal capacity. In order to do so, you need to inform your guardian/s and any relevant authorities of your decision.
Why should I execute an EPG?
Just like executing an EPA, executing an EPG provides you with the choice of who you wish to appoint. This allows you to appoint a person that you have discussed your wishes with beforehand and will therefore act in your best interests.
Having a guardian appointed that knows this information is crucial due to several reasons. One being that it reduces the stress and issues caused by the following common situation:
A parent loses their mental capacity and has multiple children. There is no EPG in place and decisions need to be made regarding their lifestyle or medical treatment and each child has a different view of what is in their parent's best interests. This may cause conflict between your children as your wishes are not known. Therefore, what is already a difficult time for the family can be made worse through not having the proper documents in place.
Should I execute both an EPA and an EPG?
You are not required to execute an EPA, an EPG or one of each. However, executing both ensures decision making is protected in all areas of your life. If you would like to have these documents prepared, please contact us and let our experienced team of Wills and Estates Lawyers assist you.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.