An enduring power of guardianship enables the appointment of a sole guardian who can make personal, lifestyle and medical treatment decisions for the donor in the event of their incapacity. The authority of the enduring guardian depends on the specific powers and limitations set by the donor. If the donor does not set any specific powers or limitations, the enduring guardian has all the powers of a plenary (complete) guardian. Enduring powers of guardianship tend to have added relevance to people living alone, or where friends or family are in dispute about the future care arrangements of a loved one.
An enduring power of guardianship does not give the guardian the power to consent to any procedure or to refuse medical treatment. The guardian must exercise their authority in the best interests of the donor.
A proposed guardian cannot be someone professionally involved in the care or medical treatment of the donor or professionally involved with their accommodation. If a guardian becomes involved in either of these two areas the enduring guardianship will lapse. You cannot appoint two joint guardians. You can however appoint an alternative guardian should your original guardian die, become incompetent or cannot be contacted.
For an enduring power of guardianship to be valid both the donor and the guardian must be over 18 years old. The document must be in the form provided in the Guardianship and Administration Act 1986 (Vic).
Two independent witnesses must witness the enduring power of attorney guardianship document.
Neither witness can be a party to the guardianship or be a relative of a party to the document.
One witness must be a person authorised to take statutory declarations, such as a lawyer.
A statement of acceptance in the appropriate form needs to be signed by the guardian.