While you are legally capable you can sign an Advanced Personal Plan (“APP”). This document allows you to make decisions about your future health, financial and lifestyle preferences should you lose your decision making capacity. (In other states known as an Enduring Power of Attorney, an Enduring Power of Guardianship or an Advance Health Directive/Plan and some people might refer to it as a Living Will).
In an APP you can:
- Make decisions in advance about your health and lifestyle matters (referred in this document as personal matters);
- Appoint decision makers for your finances and personal matters;
- Make a statement about your views, wishes and beliefs as to how you wish your affairs to be managed.
Appointment of Decision Makers
You may make appointments for decision makers as follows:
- For your financial matters only;
- For your personal matters only;
- Both financial and personal matters;
- Limited aspects of the above matters.
This appointment will only take effect when you decision making capacity is impaired.
Advance Consent Decisions
An Advance Consent Decision (ACD) provides your instructions as to what medical treatment and palliative care you wish to receive or not to receive in certain circumstances.
Your Advance Consent Decisions only comes into effect when your decision making ability is impaired.
Your ACD will take priority over decisions made by your decision-makers appointed under the APP or other laws.
Advance Care Statement
You may also make an Advanced Care Statement (ASC), which is a statement of your views, wishes and beliefs about how you would like your appointed decisions makers, health care professionals and any other person providing care for you to act.
In most circumstances persons making decisions on your behalf should give effect to your statement.
Why Make an APP?
By making an APP appointing a decision maker you are choosing the person look after your affairs (personal and/or financial) when you are no longer able to do so. Without an APP the Court may nominate a person to be your Manager. This may not be the person whom you wish to have control of these matters.
By making an APP with an ACD you are providing directions about what treatment you wish to receive or not to receive. By making an APP and nominating your preferred treatment, you can relieve your loved ones of having to make this decision. Also, if your wishes are different to those of your loved ones, your wishes will prevail.
You must be at least 18 years old and have full legal capacity to be able to execute these documents.