In Australia, an adult with impaired decision making capacity has a right to adequate and appropriate support for decision-making. At DLQ we are committed to ensuring that, as much as is appropriate, adults are supported to make their own decisions, and we work with our clients to achieve this outcome.
You might choose one of a number of legal decision making options including:
Power of Attorney: A power of attorney is a formal document prepared and signed by one person (the principal) to give another person (the attorney) authority to make certain personal and/or financial decisions on their behalf. Depending on the needs of the principal, they may choose to appoint either a general or enduring power of attorney.
A power of attorney can only be signed by a principal who has capacity to understand the nature and effect of the document at the time they are signing it.
Guardian: If an adult is unable to make decisions they are said to lack capacity or have ‘impaired capacity’. If this is the case, and a decision needs to be made or the adult is likely to do something that places them at risk, they may need a formal guardian. A guardian makes decisions about personal matters such as accommodation, education and dress.
Administrator: An administrator, like a guardian, is appointed to make decisions for an adult who lacks capacity An administrator makes decisions about financial matters such as paying expenses, receiving or recovering money, managing business affairs and making investments.
Alternatively, you may have informal decision making processes in place that are functioning well and do not need to be made formal. DLQ can help you decide what is the best legal decision making option for your particular situation.
Find out more about our Decision Making online training series.