Guardianship and Advance Directives
Guardianship for “adults” is the process of the formal appointment of a substitute decision-maker in the event that the person loses
capacity to make lifestyle and medical type decisions for themselves. The most common “powers” given to this type of substitute
- Deciding where the person will live;
- Deciding what services they will receive;
- Providing medical and dental consents;
- Deciding which medical services may be provided.
An Adult Guardian can be appointed by a Deed under the Guardianship Act 1987 or alternatively by order of the Guardianship Division of the NSW
Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) or the Supreme Court. The appointment under a Deed only becomes activated once the person has lost
capacity to make decisions for themselves.
An Advance Directive is a more detailed instruction in writing to the Guardian about how the person would like their decision-making role to be
exercised. It usually includes information about how they wish to be cared for and by whom and what medical treatment they do or do not want.
An Advance Directive can include a person’s wishes about any aspect of their life. It is possible to have an Advance Directive setting out
in writing how and under what circumstances significant medical decisions should be made without the formal appointment of a Guardian by way
of Deed or Court Order.