Legally appointing someone to make health and lifestyle decisions

This page provides a plain-English overview of the legal processes involved in planning ahead, as well as links to local information. To get advice about your individual circumstances it is recommended that you consult with one of the agencies referred to below or a legal practitioner.

How do I legally appoint someone of my choice to make health and lifestyle decisions for me if I lose capacity to make my own decisions in the future?

  • While you might verbally nominate someone you want to make decisions for you or else have their name put in your medical records, this informal approach does not have a strong legal basis.
  • The way to ensure your decisions have a clear and strong legal basis in Tasmania is to appoint someone as your Enduring Guardian to make personal or lifestyle decisions on your behalf when you are not capable of doing this for yourself.
  • An Enduring Guardian must be over the age of 18. Most people choose a relative or close friend whom they trust.
  • In appointing an Enduring Guardian you can:
    • appoint one or more guardians; if more than one, specify if they should make decisions together or separately
    • appoint a first guardian, and name an alternative guardian in case the first guardian cannot assume the role
    • put conditions on how the guardians carry out their role.
  • An Instrument Appointing Enduring Guardian(s) document needs to be signed by two witnesses and must be registered with the Guardianship and Administration Board to be valid.
  • An Enduring Guardian has no authority to make financial decisions on your behalf – unless they have also been appointed under a Power of Attorney.

Links to local resources

For information from the Office of Public Guardian, including links to further information and forms from the Guardianship and Administration Board, click here.

Step 5: How else can I document my wishes?