Enduring Guardianship

Many people focus on planning ahead for their financial and legal affairs by making a Will and enduring power of attorney, but often do not consider what will happen if they find themselves unable to make personal and medical decisions due to illness or accident.

An enduring guardianship is a legal document that enables a person to appoint another person (the guardian) to make personal decisions if their decision-making ability is impaired. 

If you register an enduring guardianship with the Tasmanian Civil and Administration Tribunal (the Tribunal), that document will give you certainty about who will make personal decisions for you if your decision-making ability is impaired.

Your guardian may make non-financial decisions such as where you live, what services are provided to you at home and what medical treatments you receive.

Enduring guardianship only comes into effect if your decision-making ability is impaired and will only be effective during that period of impairment. Therefore, it may never become operational.

If you would like to prepare an enduring guardianship document with the Public Trustee, please fill out our APPOINTMENT BOOKING FORM and a representative will contact you to confirm your appointment. 

What if a guardian has not been appointed?

If you lose capacity but have not appointed an enduring guardian, decisions about medical treatment may be made on your behalf by a ‘person responsible’ who your doctor believes has sufficient personal connection with you to consent or refuse treatment on your behalf.

Alternatively, the Tasmanian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (the Tribunal) may appoint a guardian for you to make decisions such as where you live, what health care you have and who visits you. Generally, a guardian is only appointed by the Tribunal in circumstances of conflict or where some legal authority is required to promote your best interests.

For more information about making an application to the Tribunal, please go to: https://www.tascat.tas.gov.au/guardianship/process or call on 1800 657 500.

Your enduring guardian can make decisions about your health care and accommodation requirements. This includes medical treatment, whether you live in your own home or a nursing facility, who can visit you or what personal services you receive, for example home support or meals on wheels.

Your guardian is responsible for:

  • acting in accordance with any conditions or wishes expressed by you in the instrument of appointment;
  • acting in your best interests and promoting your dignity;
  • ensuring that you retain as much freedom of action and decision making as is possible; and
  • considering your wishes before making decisions for you.

(From 25 February 2021) 


Estate Planning Preparation fees (incl. GST)
Single PersonCouple
Will preparation(Appointment Includes preparing an enduring power of attorney)$140$210
Enduring power of attorney preparation(Financial matters)$140$210
Enduring guardianship preparation(Personal and medical matters)$140$210

If the estate planning documents are complex to prepare an hourly fee of $295 (pro rata) may apply.

A standard Will and enduring power of attorney are prepared free for Seniors and Australian Government Pensioner concession card holders when the Public Trustee is appointed as executor/attorney (card must be presented and only applies to one appointment per year).

  • If you nominate Public Trustee as your executor fees will apply when we are required to administer your estate when you pass away.
  • If you nominate Public Trustee your attorney fees will apply if we are required to manage your affairs due to your impaired decision-making ability or if you choose for us to manage your financial affairs.
  • Existing clients of the Public Trustee receive a 10% discount to prepare/revise new estate planning documents.
  • Fees for couples are based on the assumption instructions are similar.
  • Will (with an enduring power of attorney), Enduring power of attorney and guardianship preparation fees are based on the following standard appointment times
    • Single person – 1 hour to take instructions + 30 minutes to draft the documents + 30 minutes for the documents to be signed.
    • Couples – 1.5 hours to take instructions + 30 minutes to draft the documents + 30 minutes for the documents to be signed.
  • If you need more time than a standard appointment to provide your instructions and/or for us to provide advice to complete your documents, we will discuss your options with you before additional time is charged.  If required additional time has an hourly charge of $295 billable on a pro rata basis of $29.50 for each 6 minute unit actually undertaken to complete your documentation. 
  • There is an additional Government registration fee to register an enduring guardianship and or an enduring power of attorney. If the Public Trustee is asked to register an enduring power of attorney an administration fee is also charged. Enduring guardianship documents must be registered by the individual.
  • Telephone, online and office appointments are available.

We have compiled a list of the most commonly asked questions regarding enduring guardians. 

An enduring power of attorney is a legal document that allows you to appoint someone to manage your financial affairs.

An enduring guardianship iis a legal document that allows you to appoint someone to make your personal or medical decisions.

Enduring power of attorney = financial affairs

Enduring guardianship = Personal and medical affairs (non-financial) 

If you have specific wishes in regards to your medical treatment, future personal decisions and / or the person you would like to make those decisions, you should consider preparing an enduring guardianship document while you have the capacity to do so. 

Your guardian must be over 18 years of age. They cannot be a person who is involved in an administrative or professional capacity in your medical care or treatment (e.g. your GP). You also cannot appoint the Public Guardian or Public Trustee as your enduring guardian.

You can appoint single or joint guardians. You can also appoint an alternative guardian to make decisions on your behalf in circumstances where the original guardian is absent or incapacitated.

Your guardian should be someone you trust and who knows your wishes and preferences. They should preferably be a person who is decisive and able to advocate on your behalf to medical staff, care providers and members of your family.

An enduring guardianship document allows you to appoint a person to make important personal decisions on your behalf if you lose the ability to make decisions. You can also capture important information about your wishes and things you want to be taken into consideration if or when certain decisions need to be made.

An advanced care directive (ACD) is a written document that contains your wishes and directions, so health practitioners understand what is important to you, and what medical treatments you do not want. A health practitioner is a doctor or any other person authorised to provide you with treatment or care. This document does not appoint someone to make decisions for you. 

An ACD only comes into effect if you lose the ability (either permanently or temporarily) to make these decisions yourself.

In Tasmania, an ACD is legally binding. The law in Tasmania that governs ACDs is the Guardianship and Administration Act 1995.

For more information on advanced care planning for healthy dying, please refer to the Department of Health website. 

https://www.health.tas.gov.au/health-topics/palliative-care/about-palliative-care/planning-and-decisions-about-end-life

https://www.health.tas.gov.au/publications/advance-care-directive-form

You can prepare an enduring guardianship document with the Public Trustee.

If you would like to prepare an Enduring Guardianship document on your own you can download a copy from the Tasmanian Civil and Administration Tribunal.

For further information review the Enduring Guardian’s Handbook – Information for Enduring Guardian’s in Tasmania

If you prepare an enduring guardianship document with the Public Trustee, we can assist you with witnessing the documents, but you are required to register your own document, so it has legal effect. the document can be registered at Service Tasmania for a fee.

There are strict requirements for the witnessing of an enduring guardianship. The must be 2 witnesses over 18 years of age and must not be related to you or to your guardians. Instruments of appointment that are not appropriately witnessed may be rejected for registration or invalidated after a review by the Tasmanian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (the Tribunal).

Your guardian must have signed the instrument to indicate that he or she accepts appointment as your guardian.

Upon registration, the Tribunal will return copies of the instrument to you. You should provide a copy to your guardian(s), your care providers and to your medical practitioner.

Where can I get an Enduring Guardian form?

You can prepare an Enduring Guardianship document with the Public Trustee.

If you would like to prepare an Enduring Guardianship document on your own you can download a copy from the Tasmanian Civil and AdministrationTribunal.

For further information review the Enduring Guardian’s Handbook – Information forEnduring Guardians in Tasmania. 

More information on the fees to register an Enduring Guardianship document can be found on the Tribunals website 

All Australian States and Territories have their own legislation governing Enduring Guardianship. Some, but not all, automatically recognise a Tasmanian Enduring Guardianship Instrument of Appointment as legally valid.

If the Appointor is planning to move to another State or Territory or move around Australia, it is appropriate to find out whether that State or Territory will recognise a Tasmanian Enduring Guardianship Instrument. If it is not recognised, the Appointor may consider appointing an Enduring Guardian under the laws of that State or Territory.

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