VIDEO: Appointment of an Enduring Guardian

The Appointment of an Enduring Guardian is an important document that forms part of your Estate plan and operates whilst a person is alive. This document gives the legal authority to make medical and lifestyle decisions on your behalf in the event you lose capacity.

Should you become incapable of making your own personal decisions then you can authorise your enduring guardians to exercise certain functions; for example:

  1. To decide where you live,
  2. To decide what health care you receive,
  3. To decide what other kinds of personal services you receive,
  4. Consent to the carrying out of medical or dental treatment;
  5. Access all records and information concerning your medical, dental and/or other health records.


When deciding who to appoint as your Enduring Guardian, it is essential to choose someone who you trust implicitly and who is capable of making medical and lifestyle decisions on your behalf.

Typically, people choose a family member or a close friend to act as their Enduring Guardian.

If you appoint more than one Enduring Guardian, you can appoint them to either act:

Jointly, which means all decisions must be made by the Guardians together.


Jointly and severally – (This is a more flexibility option where they can make decisions alone or together).


It's important to have a candid conversation with the person or people you are considering as your Enduring Guardian before you make the appointment. You should discuss your expectations, what types of decisions they may need to make on your behalf, and make sure they are willing and able to take on this responsibility. You may also want to appoint a substitute Enduring Guardian in case the Instituted Guardian becomes unable to act.

Your Guardian is required to act with your best interests at heart and in accordance with the requirements of the Guardianship Act.

Another term I often get asked about is an 'Advanced Care Directive'. An Advanced Care Directive is different to an Enduring Guardian. As we know an Appointment of Enduring Guardian is the formal approach in making your medical decisions whereas an Advanced Care Directive can sometimes be classified and referred to as a "living Will". An Advanced Care Directive is a document which dictates your specific directions. Within the Guardian document we can include certain directions in accordance with your wishes. It is strongly recommended you inform your guardians on your lifestyle decisions, so they are made aware of your views and goals regarding your directions to end of life.

As I always advise my clients, you never know what’s ahead of you. When you have your Will, Enduring Power of Attorney and Appointment of Enduring Guardian all in place, then your Estate Plan is complete. This will alleviate a lot of stress and concerns from your loved ones.

If you would like further information on Appointment of Enduring Guardians, please contact me at Maclarens Lawyers. 

For professional legal advice, contact Maclarens Lawyers on (02) 9682 3777

If you have a legal concern - business or personal - let Maclarens Lawyers help you.

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