Question: While you are fit and healthy, do you want to take the precaution of having legal documents prepared which will set out your instructions, wishes and preferences, in the event that you become incapable of making appropriate decisions relating to any of the following:
- health care
- medical treatment
- other personal matters
For example, you may wish to direct that, should you become unable to decide for yourself, the following are your wishes:
- Your future care: e.g. that you do not want to have a blood transfusion
- End of life: e.g. that you do not want to be resuscitated, or be kept on a life-support;
- Future living arrangements: e.g. that you prefer to remain at home if possible
Answer: You need to consider two types of legal documents, called “Advance Care Directives and Powers of attorney”:
An Advance Care Directive (ACD), enables adults to make arrangements in advance for their future wishes and instructions about most types of health care, lawful treatment decisions in the terminal phases of illness, accommodation and personal matters, and can be used to appoint one or more substitute decision- makers, for example your children, to make decisions on your behalf when you are unable to do so.
In South Australia there are two types of Documents arising under two different Acts of Parliament. These are:
- Advance Care Directive made under the Advance Care Directives Act 2013; and
- Enduring Power of Attorney made under the Powers of Attorney and Agency Act 1984.
ADVANCE CARE DIRECTIVES (Advance Care Directives Act 2013)
An Advance Care Directive is a legal document in which a person over 18 years of age is able to write down his or her instructions, wishes and preferences for future health care, accommodation and personal matters.
It can also be used to appoint one or more substitute decision makers to make decisions on the person’s behalf in any period of impaired decision-making capacity; e.g if you’re unconscious or comatose.
POWERS OF ATTORNEY
We can draft an enduring power of attorney to allow you to hand over decision making and control of your financial banking and business affairs if you’re too unwell to look after them yourself. These can be temporary for instance, kicking in only if you’re extremely sick or they can be permanent. This is helpful for the elderly who need the assistance by children who need to get day by day. they can even be drafted too allow for the management transfer sale of land and other property.