Making Decisions: OPA information

Making decisions and managing our affairs is a fundamental human right, yet sometimes people lose the capacity to exercise this right, due to dementia, mental illness, accident or trauma.

The Guardianship and Administration Act 1990 , provides the legal framework for three tools that enable adults to exercise an element of control over how decisions will be made on their behalf should they ever lose the capacity to make decisions for themselves.

These are:

  • Enduring Power of Attorney, which enables an adult with full legal capacity to appoint another person to make decisions on their behalf about property and financial matters.
  • Enduring Power of Guardianship, which enables an adult with full legal capacity to appoint another person to make decisions on their behalf about personal, lifestyle and treatment matters.
  • Advance Health Directive, which enables an adult with full legal capacity to make decisions about what treatments they might want - or not want - to receive if they ever became sick or injured and were unable to communicate their wishes personally. An Advance Health Directive would speak for them.
Page reviewed 21 March 2022