Guardianship is something that every person over the age of 18 needs to have in place. While the hope is that it will never need to be used, the fact is that you never know what the future holds. It is far better to have a Guardian properly and legally appointed, than to risk being injured or getting sick and having decisions made for you that you do not want or would not choose.
Previously, to nominate a person to manage your personal lifestyle choices you appointed them under Guardianship Power of Attorney. Your appointed Guardian was able to make decisions about how you would live on your behalf if you were no longer able to. Recent changes to laws have shifted the way in which you appoint someone to the role of Guardianship.
Guardianship Power of Attorney has been incorporated into Financial Power of Attorney
Your Financial Power of Attorney now has the power to manage your financial and lifestyle affairs
With the new laws, your nominated Financial Power of Attorney is the person who has the ability to make decisions about your financial matters, as well as how you should live. This might be a decision around what type of care you should get and how you should live in the event that you become incapacitated. If you already have a valid Guardianship Power of Attorney in place, don't worry - it is still a valid document and can continue to be used.
Please contact us to make sure your Guardianship Power of Attorney wishes are outlined in your Financial Power of Attorney. Learn more about your options for Power of Attorney and find out how Rose Lawyers can help you in ensuring the security of your future care today.
Set out your wishes and interests with Power of Attorney
Even though you are appointing someone you trust to make decisions on your behalf, you absolutely can and should put limits in place to protect yourself. As an example, if you adhere to a particular religion and only wish to be placed into a nursing home or retirement village of that faith, then you can make that very clear in your Power of Attorney directions.
Be very clear with what you want your Power of Attorney to do on your behalf
Your appointed Power of Attorney does have the final say - so it is important to appoint someone you trust and who knows your wishes.
Note that while your appointed Attorney has the ability to choose what type of residential care you might receive, they do not have the ability to make medical treatment decisions for you.
Understand the difference between lifestyle decisions and medical treatment
Medical treatment decisions will still need to be managed through an appointed medical treatment authority, but lifestyle decisions will be up to the Attorney you appoint to your care. There is a difference between the two types of decisions.
An example of a medical treatment decision might be whether to try a particular surgery, or whether to go onto or off a particular medication.
An example of a lifestyle decision might be around what level of care you receive and how often you receive that care.
Medical decisions will be posed by a doctor, while a lifestyle decision is something that is up to the Attorney to choose. Note that while many of the decisions around your lifestyle and living arrangements may not be medical in nature, they will still impact on your comfort and preferences. That is why if you have particular care preferences, it is important to outline your precise wishes in your Power of Attorney documents.
Protect your loved ones with Power of Attorney
Having your Guardianship Power of Attorney wishes clearly outlined to your appointed Financial Power of Attorney is important not only for your care, but for your loved ones as well. The best thing that you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones is to have these documents in place.
If something does happen unexpectedly, your appointed person or people know what they have to do and can be there to act in your best interests.
Get these documents in place prior to ever needing them so that they are there if you do need them.
It is vital that you consult a legal professional when you are appointing someone to your Power of Attorney. This is so you know that your documents are valid and include all of the instructions you wish to have in place.
Set your future care in place today
Do not wait and put this off until later. Your Guardianship documents and Power of Attorney are among the most important legal documents you need to have in place. Give yourself security and peace of mind knowing that your future wishes will be followed.