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FAQs for Enduring Guardians

1. I have been asked to be an enduring guardian. Do I have to accept the role?

Being an enduring guardian is a voluntary role which carries a range of responsibilities. It is entirely up to you whether or not you accept an appointment as a person’s enduring guardian. Before accepting you should be familiar with the role and the types of decisions you will have to make to ensure that you feel confident in carrying out the required duties.

2. I am an enduring guardian with the authority to make treatment decisions. I need to make a treatment decision but do not fully understand the information being given to me by the health professional. What should I do?

If you are having difficulty understanding a recommended treatment, you should ask the doctor or other health professional to explain it in more simple terms or provide some written information to assist in making the decision.

You should not feel pressured to make a decision until you have all the information you need to make an informed decision in the person's best interests.

Once a decision has been made, details of the decision should be recorded including how and when it was reached and the people consulted in the process. This leaves less room for disputation later down the track about how decisions were made.

3. I am a joint enduring guardian and there is conflict between myself and the other joint enduring guardian. What should we do to resolve the situation?

If the appointor has a social worker, you might wish to consider asking the social worker whether a meeting could be arranged between the enduring guardians, with a view to resolving the conflict.

If all efforts to resolve the conflict are unsuccessful, an application may be made to the State Administrative Tribunal to intervene in the operation of the Enduring Power of Guardianship (EPG). The Tribunal can then determine whether to give directions about the operation of the EPG or revoke or vary the terms of the EPG.

If you are unsure about whether an application should be made to the Tribunal, you can discuss your concerns with an advisory officer from the Office of the Public Advocate's Telephone Advisory Service on 1300 858 455. 

4. I am an enduring guardian. Can I make financial decisions on behalf of my appointor?

An enduring guardian cannot make financial decisions on behalf of an appointor.

An enduring guardian is appointed to make personal, lifestyle and treatment decisions (to the extent that authority is granted within the EPG form) for the appointor, in the event the appointor loses the capacity to make the decisions.

An Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) is the tool which enables an adult with full legal capacity to appoint another person or agency (attorney) to make property and financial decisions on their behalf.

5. I no longer want, or am no longer able, to continue in the role as enduring guardian. What do I need to do?

An enduring guardian can only renounce their role when the appointor has capacity.

If the appointor has lost capacity and decisions can't be made in an informal manner, an application will need to be made to the State Administrative Tribunal to ensure that there is an authorised decision-maker.

Last updated: 1-Sep-2016

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