Information for you
At some point in your life, there may come a time when you are unable to make a decision.
It could be because:
- of a sudden accident or serious mental health episode
- of dementia or similar condition
- of a sudden serious stroke
- you are unconscious or in a coma.
If this happened, how would you want decisions to be made for you about your health care, living arrangements and other personal matters?
More importantly, who would you want making these decisions for you?
An Advance Care Directive makes it easy for others to know what your wishes are when you are unable to make these decisions yourself. It can also give you peace of mind to know that your wishes are known and will be respected, if others need to make decisions for you.
What is the new Advance Care Directive?
The new Advance Care Directive empowers you to make clear legal arrangements for your future health care, end of life, preferred living arrangements and other personal matters.
It replaces the existing Enduring Power of Guardianship, Medical Power of Attorney and Anticipatory Direction with a single, Advance Care Directive Form.
The new Advance Care Directive allows you to:
- write down your wishes, preferences and instructions for your future health care, end of life, living arrangements, personal matters and/or
- appoint one or more Substitute Decision-Makers to make these decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so in the future.
What the Advance Care Directive is not.
This Advance Care Directive is not a Will. It also cannot be used to make financial or legal decisions. It is recommended you think about appointing an Enduring Power of Attorney to make decisions about your future finances and legal matters. Please refer to ‘Where I can get more information’ at the end of this Guide.
Who can write an Advance Care Directive?
You can write an Advance Care Directive at any stage of life – whether you are young, older, healthy or unwell. To write an Advance Care Directive, it must be your choice and you must:
- be 18 years old or over
- know what an Advance Care Directive is
- know what it will be used for and,
- know when it will be used.
What if I have other documents in place?
If you have already completed an Enduring Power of Guardianship, a Medical Power of Attorney or an Anticipatory Direction, these will continue to be legally effective after 1 July, 2014, unless you complete the new Advance Care Directive Form.
Can I change my Advance Care Directive?
If you want to update your existing document(s), or make a new Advance Care Directive, you must use the new Advance Care Directive Form.