Life brings unexpected events, some of which may impact your ability to make important healthcare decisions. If this happens, Enduring Guardianship allows someone you trust to decide for you.

Anyone’s life can take a turn in an instant. While no one enjoys thinking about such a situation, it is important to have a plan in place to ensure your wishes and values are respected. With Enduring Guardianship, a trusted family member or friend will be able to make decisions regarding residency and healthcare on your behalf if the need arises.

At Rankin Ellison, our Enduring Guardianship lawyers can guide you through the legal process of appointment to ensure that your best interests will be prioritised and protected.

Be sure to clarify all preferences, requirements and conditions with your Enduring Guardian in advance so that they fully understand and honour your wishes.

Once you have chosen an Enduring Guardian, discuss this appointment together to confirm whether they are willing and capable to take on the responsibilities of making significant decisions for you.

After you have had this conversation, you should speak with an experienced lawyer who can help you to prepare an appointment of Enduring Guardianship. At Rankin Ellison, we will explain every facet of this appointment to you and prepare all relevant paperwork to ensure it is legally valid.


Under the Guardianship Act, any adult who demonstrates the mental capacity to make autonomous decisions is permitted to appoint an Enduring Guardian to make health, personal and lifestyle decisions on their behalf in the event that they are incapable of doing so.

Note that financial and property matters are managed by an Enduring Power of Attorney.

You can choose a single or multiple Enduring Guardians. Either way, an appointed Enduring Guardian:

  • Must be over 18 years old
  • Should be someone you fully trust to respect your wishes and make decisions in your best interests
  • Cannot be your professional care worker or treatment provider at the time of the appointment

An Enduring Guardian’s key duty is to make life and medical decisions on your behalf. They will also take into account any Advance Care Directives that are in place.

You can detail the number and type of decisions or functions your Enduring Guardian is permitted to make in the Enduring Guardianship form. If you would like to appoint several Enduring Guardians, make sure to specify which functions each person is responsible for.

You will need to execute an Enduring Guardianship document. We can talk you through this to ensure that the document is legally valid. Note that this document must be signed by all parties and witnessed by either a legal practitioner or a Registrar of the NSW Local Court.

We recommend storing the Enduring Guardianship with your Will for safekeeping, as well as giving copies to your doctor and solicitor.

Enduring Guardianship only takes effect if you are incapable of making your own decisions. Your Enduring Guardian should seek professional advice regarding your capacity before making any decisions on your behalf.

If you have not appointed an Enduring Guardian, the Guardianship Tribunal may be asked to appoint an appropriate person, such as your spouse or child, to take care of your interests if you are incapable of making your own decisions. Often, the Tribunal will appoint the Public Guardian to make decisions for you.