We have recently tuned in to the Four Corners episode entitled ‘State Control’.

One thought did occur to us while watching. If some of those persons had appointed an attorney or guardian to act on their behalf once they lost capacity, some of the head and heartaches may have been avoided as hopefully they could have appointed people deserving of their complete trust and confidence. Of course, not everyone has the capacity to make such an appointment at any point in their life and not every attorney or guardian performs their role appropriately.

Most people understand the importance of having a will that achieves their desired outcomes for their assets when they pass away. With people living longer, and often for a significant period without capacity to make their own decisions, enduring documents are a crucial part of estate planning that may be overlooked.

By taking the opportunity to validly record whom you want to make your financial, legal, medical and personal decisions if you lose capacity, you reduce the likelihood of the Public Trustees and Guardians in your State or Territory making decisions for you. There will be some circumstances where the intervention of the Civil and Administrative Tribunal (and potentially the relevant Public Trustee and/or Guardian) may still be required, but you are reducing this possibility by ensuring your enduring documents are in order.

If you would like to appoint your preferred persons to lawfully act on your behalf once you lose the capacity to do so for yourself, contact our office on (02) 9101 7000 to speak to one of our estate planning lawyers

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