Enduring Guardian – things to consider when deciding who should be yours

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January 13, 2013 by Todd

Characteristics of a good enduring guardian

You have decided to appoint an enduring guardian.  But who to appoint?  When making the decision, you should consider:

1. Would the person be willing to accept the appointment?

2. Do you trust the person to take account of your views and your previous lifestyle choices?

3. Will they make decisions in your best interests?

4. How do they handle difficult and emotional circumstances?  A good enduring guardian can think carefully about the consequences of a decision, weigh up the alternatives, seek appropriate information and balance your views with the views of doctors and other family members, before making a good decision.

5. Can the person be contacted easily if a decision needs to be made?

5. Is the person of an age and general health to likely be available if a decision needs to be made?

Alternative enduring guardians

It is not always possible for your first choice as enduring guardian to act.  They may not accept the appointment.  They may decide to resign.  They may be unavailable, unwell or so on.  They may no longer be alive.  In any of those cases, where you are not able to make decisions for yourself and you have not appointed another enduring guardian, no one may have authority to make decisions for you.  Someone may need to make an application to the Guardianship Tribunal, possibly in circumstances where a decision needs to be made quickly.  A good way to avoid the stress and uncertainty of that situation is to appoint an alternative enduring guardian.

Jointly, jointly and severally or severally appointed enduring guardians

You may decide to appoint more than one enduring guardian to act at the same time. You can appoint them to act jointly, jointly and severally, or severally.

If enduring guardians are appointed jointly, they must always agree and act together.  If they are appointed severally, they do not need to agree and can act separately when making decisions.  Where appointed jointly and severally, they can act jointly or they can act severally.

If you wish to appoint more than one enduring guardian to act at the same time, you should consider whether those people will be able to communicate with each other, work together and reach agreement with each other.  If you are thinking about appointing them severally or jointly and severally, you should think about whether they will make decisions ‘severally’ in a cooperative way.

It is important to get this decision right.  Let our knowledge be your edge.  Contact us now.


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