As a carer you may be responsible for the legal and financial affairs of the person you care for. Planning ahead may provide some sense of security and peace of mind about the future for both you and the person you care for.
If possible, it is best to get organised early in the caring experience before the need becomes urgent.
Wills, Power of Attorney, Enduring Guardianship and Advanced Care Directives and Special Disability Trust, are all different ways of planning for the future.
- Making a Will - A will is a legal document that sets out how you want your assets to be distributed when you die. Making a will is good planning. If you don’t have a will it can cause delays, costs and difficulties. Make sure you keep your will up to date and let someone you trust know where it is kept.
A solicitor or trustee can help you avoid any misunderstandings and make sure your wishes are clearly and accurately recorded. There is no charge to make or update your will with the Public Trustee as your executor. Fees will apply on the administration of an estate.
- Power of Attorney - this is a legal document which appoints a person to act on behalf of another in areas of property and financial management. This person may be a family member, close friend, or the Public Trustee. An Enduring Power of Attorney continues to take effect even after the person loses their mental capacity.
- Enduring Guardianship - is someone you choose to make personal or lifestyle decisions on your behalf when you are not capable of doing it for yourself. These may include decisions such as where to live, or what health care or support services you wish to receive.
- Advance Care Directives - This is sometimes calling a “living will” and is a way of recording your wishes or instructions for the future that doctors and health care workers are to follow. It is used in situations when you are unable to communicate or have lost the ability to make decisions for yourself.
- Special Disability Trusts - A trust can be set up for people with a severe disability for their future care. You may need to seek legal and financial advice as the rules can be complex.
For more information about planning ahead, visit Planning ahead - Carers NSW or phone 1300 887 529.
There are also a range of organisations to help you:
CarersNSW Carer Line: 1800 242 636
Law Access – to find details of your nearest Community Legal Centre: 1300 888 529
Guardianship Tribunal: 1800 463 928