Enduring guardianship

Most people know the importance of having a current will, to ensure your wishes are carried out should you die. However, arrangements for decision-making should you lose your mental capacity may be just as important.

With advances in modern medicine, this situation is occurring more and more frequently.  People may temporarily or permanently lose mental capacity, and when this occurs their affairs may be held in limbo.

 

Many people know about the need for enduring Powers of Attorney, where a loved one is given the power to sign documents for a person who does not have the mental capacity to sign. This allows the person’s financial affairs to be adequately looked after in the case of loss of capacity.

 

However, less well known is the fact that powers of attorney do not cover lifestyle decisions.  You should have someone with the power to make decisions for you. This is done through enduring guardianship, also known as a living will. If you lose your mental capacity, this covers decisions such as where you live, which doctors you see, and what health care you receive.  You are also able to give your guardian additional functions, or leave directions as to your wishes. As part of this, an appointment of enduring guardian can allow you to set out any views you have as to discontinuance (or continuance) of life support in certain situations.

 

An Appointment of Enduring Guardian form is different from a Power of Attorney.  Both are vital companions to your will when planning for the future.

 

If you wish to discuss appointing an enduring Power of Attorney or enduring guardian, please contact Alyssa Primiano.

 

 

 

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