When it comes to planning for the future, many people focus on estate planning and creating a will. However, another critical aspect often overlooked is establishing an Enduring Power of Guardianship (EPG). In Western Australia, an EPG ensures that you have a trusted person to make important decisions on your behalf if you become unable to do so. In this blog post, we will explore what an EPG is, its significance, and why it is essential to have one in place.
Understanding Enduring Powers of Guardianship
An Enduring Power of Guardianship is a legal document that allows you to appoint a trusted individual as your guardian to make decisions about your health, welfare, and personal matters if you lose the capacity to make those decisions yourself. It grants authority to your chosen guardian to act in your best interests when you are no longer capable due to illness, disability, or other circumstances.
Why is it important to have an EPG in place?
- Ensures Personal Autonomy and Choice:
By creating an EPG, you retain control over who will make decisions on your behalf. You have the power to choose someone you trust implicitly, ensuring that your personal wishes, values, and beliefs are respected and upheld in critical situations. Without an EPG, the responsibility of decision-making may fall into the hands of someone you would not have chosen or who may not fully understand your desires. There is also a risk the decision will be made by the Public Trustee.
- Protects Your Interests and Well-being:
An EPG provides a legal framework for protecting your interests and well-being when you are unable to advocate for yourself. Your appointed guardian will have the authority to make decisions regarding medical treatment, accommodation, and other personal matters. This ensures that you receive the necessary care and support required for your circumstances, reducing the risk of neglect or unwanted interventions.
- Eases the Burden on Loved Ones:
In the absence of an EPG, family members or friends may be left in a difficult position, uncertain about the best course of action and potentially facing conflicts and disagreements. Establishing an EPG eliminates the ambiguity and provides clear instructions for decision-making, alleviating emotional and legal burdens on your loved ones during an already challenging time.
- Prevents the Need for Guardianship Applications:
Without an EPG in place, if you were to lose decision-making capacity, a loved one would need to apply to the State Administrative Tribunal (SAT) in Western Australia to become your guardian. This process can be time-consuming, costly, and emotionally draining for all parties involved. By having an EPG, you can bypass this process and ensure that your chosen guardian is authorized to act immediately.
- Greater Peace of Mind:
Having an EPG in place offers a sense of security and peace of mind. By proactively addressing potential future scenarios, you can rest assured that your interests and well-being are safeguarded, and your desires will be respected. It allows you to focus on enjoying the present without worry about the unknown.
We Can Help
In Western Australia, an Enduring Power of Guardianship is a crucial component of comprehensive future planning. It empowers you to choose a trusted individual who will advocate for your best interests when you are unable to do so yourself. By establishing an EPG, you ensure personal autonomy, protect your interests, ease the burden on loved ones, avoid the need for guardianship applications, and enjoy greater peace of mind. Take the proactive step today to secure your future well-being by creating an Enduring Power of Guardianship. Get in touch with Joss Legal to arrange an appointment to have your own EPG put in place.