Imagine for a moment that you have a serious car accident, are in hospital with major injuries. You are unable to make decisions in relation to your ongoing medical care. You have bills to pay, including your mortgage payments, which you can’t make. What do you do in a situation like this? Unless you have an Enduring Guardian and a Power of Attorney, your financial affairs cannot be dealt with and medical decisions cannot be made.
A Power of Attorney enables you to nominate a person or persons who you trust, the power to handle your legal and financial affairs if you are unable to for a number of reasons. This is not a responsibility that should be granted lightly and should only be granted to those you trust. Proper legal advice is essential when making these decisions.
An Enduring Guardian is a different legal document and often misunderstood. This is a document where you can nominate a person or persons to act on your behalf to make health and medical decisions if you can’t make those decisions for yourself.
Both a Power of Attorney and Enduring Guardian are documents which require a thorough explanation by a lawyer to help you understand the potential consequences involved. If these powers are given to the wrong people, the consequences could be disastrous and costly.