When preparing your Will your lawyer may also discuss preparing an Advance Care Directive (ACD) or a Power of Attorney (POA).
An ACD is a document that:
- sets out your values and wishes to guide decisions about your future healthcare, end of life, living arrangements and other personal matters
- sets out what, if any, specific medical treatment you refuse and in what circumstances; and
- appoints one or more Substitute Decision-Makers to make these decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so in the future.
The document becomes effective in situations where you are no longer able to make decisions for yourself and is a binding direction, over-riding the wishes of any other person and takes precedence over appointed guardians, spouses or de factos and any other next of kin.
An ACD is important as it enables you to exercise control after you lose the capacity to make your own decisions, and ensure you are more likely to have your wishes for care respected. You can also appointment someone you trust to make decisions regarding your health care.
People with an ACD are also more likely to experience fewer unwanted medical interventions, less likely to be moved from their home or community care to a hospital, and less likely to die in a hospital.
Family members and caregivers often experience stress, family conflict and guilt when making decisions for a loved one at the end of their life. These decisions are made easier if they are guided by a ACD.
If you would like to create or update an Advance Care Directive, Power of Attorney or your Will, speak to Linna or any of the lawyers at our Adelaide, Whyalla or Millicent office today.