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 Western Australia is by appointing a person under an Enduring Power of Guardianship. This person (your enduring guardian) will be able to make personal, lifestyle and treatment decisions for you if you lose the capacity to make your own decisions in the future.
- Treatment refers to medical or surgical treatment, including dental treatment, a life-sustaining measure, palliative care or other healthcare.
- You can give your enduring guardian the right to make all personal, lifestyle and healthcare decisions on your behalf or you can put limits on which decisions they can make.
- An enduring guardian has no authority to make financial decisions on your behalf – unless they have also been appointed under an Enduring Power of Attorney.
- There is no register of people appointed as enduring guardians in Western Australia.
- Keep hold of the original completed form and give certified copies to your enduring guardian(s); you may also consider giving a certified copy to your family and/or friends and health professionals involved in your care.
- You can get further information about Enduring Power of Guardianship from the Office of the Public Advocate (contact details below).
Links to local resources
To view information, and download a range of brochures and an Information Kit about Enduring Power of Guardianship - including the form - on the Office of the Public Advocate website, click here.
The WA Office of the Public Advocate can be contacted here or by calling 1300 858 455 or (08) 9278 7300.