Appointing an enduring guardian
An enduring guardian (EG) is a person you appoint to make important personal, lifestyle and treatment decisions on your behalf, should you ever become incapable of making such decisions yourself.
To appoint an enduring guardian, you will need to fill out an Enduring Power of Guardianship (EPG).
What is an Enduring Power of Guardianship?
An EPG is a legal document in which you appoint one or more persons as an enduring guardian to make personal, lifestyle and treatment decisions for you.
These forms and documents are available from the Office of the Public Advocate (external site).
Who can appoint an enduring guardian?
You must be 18 or over and have the capacity to form your own decision on making an EPG.
Who should I appoint as an enduring guardian?
You should appoint someone you know and trust. For example, your spouse or partner, other relative or close friend.
You should ensure your enduring guardian is aware of your personal beliefs and lifestyle preferences.
When will my enduring guardian have the power to make decisions for me?
Your EPG will only be used if and when you become unable to make decisions for yourself.
You choose the decisions your enduring guardian will be able to make, such as where you live and what treatment and services you receive.
If you make an Advanced Health Directive (AHD) this will take priority over the decisions of your enduring guardian for the treatment stated in the document.
What is the difference between Enduring Power of Guardianship and an Advanced Health Directive?
An EPG is a legal document where you appoint one or more persons as an enduring guardian to make personal, lifestyle and treatment decisions for you.
You can choose the type of decisions your EG will be able to make. These decisions include where you will live, and what treatment and medical services you will receive.
An Advance Health Directive (AHD) is a document that contains your decisions about future treatment.
You can have both an AHD and EPG, but having an AHD overrides the EPG when it comes to treatment.
This means that if you are unable to make a treatment decision yourself, the instructions in your AHD will be used instead of asking your enduring guardian to make these decisions for you.
Can I appoint an enduring guardian in my Advance Health Directive?
You cannot use your AHD to appoint an enduring guardian. To appoint an enduring guardian you must complete an EPG form.
Can my guardian or enduring guardian make an Advance Health Directive for me?
It is not possible for another person to make an AHD on your behalf.
What is the difference between an enduring guardian and an enduring attorney?
An enduring attorney is not able to make personal, lifestyle and treatment decisions on your behalf. The authority of the enduring attorney is limited to making decisions about your financial affairs and property.
It is possible for the same person to be appointed as both your enduring guardian and enduring attorney at the same time.
Where to get help
Advance Health Directives
WA Cancer and Palliative Care Network Telephone support
Phone: 9222 2300
Enduring Powers of Guardianship
Office of the Public Advocate
Phone: 1300 858 455 (local call rates from land line only).
Fax: 9278 7333
Cancer and Palliative Care Network
This publication is provided for education and information purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical care. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not imply endorsement and is not intended to replace advice from your healthcare professional. Readers should note that over time currency and completeness of the information may change. All users should seek advice from a qualified healthcare professional for a diagnosis and answers to their medical questions.