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What do I do now I have an Advance Care Directive?

You have finished writing your Advance Care Directive and it is all signed and witnessed. It is important that others know you have written an Advance Care Directive and where to find it, especially in an emergency.

  • Keep your original Advance Care Directive in a place where you and others can find it easily.
  • Write down where you have kept it so you do not forget.
  • Your Advance Care Directive is a personal document, but it is not private.
  • Do not keep your Advance Care Directive with your Will – people will only look at your Will after you die. You want people to know your wishes before you die.

You should:

  • Have multiple certified copies made (see the Making certified copies of my Advance Care Directive for more information).
  • Give a certified copy to your Substitute Decision-Makers.
  • Give certified copies to those who care about you and care for you, such as your family, close friends, doctor and any other health practitioner, hospital or health facility you regularly visit.
  • Take a certified copy with you if you go to a hospital, hospice or aged care facility, or if you travel interstate or overseas.
  • Put a note on your fridge or notice board about the location of your Advance Care Directive and the name and contact details of your Substitute Decision-Makers (if you have any).
  • Complete the wallet card available here - and put it in your wallet or purse.
  • Provide details of where your Advance Care Directive is located in a Emergency Medical Infomation Book.

In the future, your Advance Care Directive may be uploaded onto an electronic medical record at your local hospital, aged care facility, GP office or onto your Electronic Health Record.

Review your Advance Care Directive often. Life is full of changes and if you become sick or your circumstances or those of your Substitute Decision-Maker(s) change, you may want to review and make a new Advance Care Directive if you are still able to do so.
Your wishes should be followed by your Substitute Decision-Maker, Person Responsible, health practitioner and others if it is possible to do so. It may not be possible because of available services or your financial situation.