The following article has been provided by Duncan.Legal. Based in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs, Principal Lawyer Marg Duncan and her team offers a personalised and caring legal service with a special focus on assisting families with disability.
When a person with a disability turns 18, they are considered in the eyes of the law to be an adult and many privacy barriers pop up making it difficult for families to assist their young person with financial, medical & mental health decision making. Supported Decision Making documents are legal documents that empower a person over the age of 18 years with a disability to appoint a trusted person (or persons) to assist them with their decision making.
There are 3 Supported Decision Making documents that can be created:
- Supportive Attorney – for financial & personal decision making
- Medical Support Person – for medical decision making
- Nominated Person – for mental health decision making
The process of organising these documents can seem daunting to our young people. As with all legal documents, there must be a level of understanding of what the documents are and how they can be used to support them in their decision making. The young person must also show a willingness to have these documents made up. They need to be able to communicate who they wish to nominate and why they have chosen this person (or people).
This is where parents, families & carers need to firstly, step in and learn about Supported Decision Making and then secondly, educate their young person with a disability. Duncan.Legal has some resources available to help you with your role as an educator. Duncan.Legal has an information kit available that can be emailed to you including comprehensive details for you to learn about Supported Decision Making together with more simplified versions including 1 with pictures for you to run through with your young person. If you would like this kit to be sent to you, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For a detailed explanation of Supported Decision Making, Duncan.Legal has also recorded a webinar and this can be ordered here: Supported Decision Making Webinar .
If, after reading the information kit and/or viewing the webinar, you still have some questions surrounding Supported Decision Making, please call Duncan.Legal on 9077 7731 and they would be happy to help.
Once you have learned about Supported Decision Making, educated your young person and he/she is willing to go ahead with having 1, 2 or all 3 documents drawn up, an appointment can be arranged to get things started. For further information, please head to the Duncan.Legal website: www.duncanlegal.com.au .