WOLLONGONG(02) 4221 9311
SHELLHARBOUR(02) 4295 8400

Enduring Guardian / Advanced Health Care Directives

Appoint someone to make healthcare decisions, give consent for your medical treatment and/or make lifestyle decisions.

What is an Appointment of Enduring Guardian?

An Enduring Guardianship allows you to appoint a ‘guardian’ to make healthcare decisions, give consent for your medical treatment and make lifestyle decisions in the event you cannot legally make these decisions for yourself because you lack capacity.

What can your guardian do?

Your guardian can authorise:

  • Healthcare decisions
  • Consent for medical and dental treatment
  • Lifestyle decisions such as where you live and what personal services you receive (such as an in-home nurse).

You may include directions to your guardian on your decisions in relation to ‘life support’ and ‘do not resuscitate’ directions. Your guardian will confer with your medical team and make the best decision for you, as they believe your wish would be.

Case study
Diane, a Registered Nurse, brought Susan, her elderly mother, to Kells for advice. Susan wanted to appoint Diane as her Enduring Guardian. Susan had informed her daughter “I do not want to be kept on a machine, or artificially alive if there is no chance of a quality life.” Diane knows that hospital doctors need lawful instruction and an Appointment of Enduring Guardianship appoints Diane to lawfully make decisions on her mother’s behalf if she is severely incapacitated and the need arises.

Who needs to appoint an Enduring Guardian?

Anyone older than 18 years of age can appoint an enduring guardian, and we recommend that you appoint a family member or trusted friend.  It is a serious decision and needs to be taken in consultation with your lawyer.

Kells has advised clients in situations such as:

  • Where a spouse is incapable
  • Where a couple is separated, but not divorced
  • In same-sex relationships (especially where the relationship is not acknowledged by family)
  • In long, enduring friendships where the trusted friend is the appropriate decision-maker, rather than the next of kin.

For the right professional advice, contact our experienced estate planning lawyers for a consultation.

Advanced Health Care Directive

An Advanced Health Care Directive is a document in addition to your Appointment of Enduring Guardian.

It allows you to be very specific in stating what treatment you require, in particular where you have strong wishes in relation to your future health care.

An Advanced Health Care Directive is prepared in conjunction with your doctor and lawyer and extends your legal right to choose and determine your medical treatment and health care to a time when you may not be able to express these wishes for yourself.

Kells makes estate planning easy. Whether you’re making a Will or changing one, executing a Will or disputing one, Kells is your cornerstone. Let our expert estate planning lawyers assist you.


Need help with a legal issue?
Send us your details and one of our team members will be in touch.