Getting your Health Directive in place
Health and Medical directives allow you to specify how you wish to be medically treated in certain circumstances, if you have lost capacity at that time. These documents differ to Enduring Powers of Attorney in that these healthcare directives are limited to pre-emptively outlining the health care and medical treatment you want (or do not want) to have in particular health scenarios. What this document is called differs between the Australian States and Territories.
Queensland Advance Health Directives
You can prepare a legal document known as an Advance Health Directive Qld (AHD). This document allows you to outline what medical treatment or health care you do or do not wish to receive in certain circumstances, in the event that you are no longer capable of making decisions for yourself. The AHD needs to be completed with your doctor and certified by a solicitor, justice of the peace or Commissioner for Declarations.
New South Wales Advance Care Directives
You can prepare an Advance Care Directive NSW which allows you to provide a statement setting out your directions, including your wishes and values that should be considered before medical treatment decisions are made on your behalf. There is no prescribed form for an Advance Care Directive. Should you wish to make this medical directive, you can simply write down your wishes. However, signing a more formal, written Advance Care Directive is recommended to ensure that your wishes are properly recorded. We can assist you in this regard.
Victoria Advance Care Directives
You can prepare an Advance Care Directive Victoria to document your preferences for future medical treatment, should you lose decision-making capacity. You can record general statements about your values and preferences which can guide future medical treatment decisions. You can also record instructions consenting to or refusing specific types of treatment. The Victorian government has a recommended form to follow which needs to be witnessed by your doctor.
Professionally drafted Health/Care Directives
We can assist you with advice, recommendations and the correct documents to cover all of your needs and concerns in the event of your incapacity. One of our Estate Planning experts will ensure that your Advance Health Directive or Advance Care Directive (depending on your State) aligns with your other estate planning documents in the event of your incapacity to ensure that the people around you have what they need to look after you should you ever need it. We will discuss these issues with you at our first consultation and provide you with a fixed fee quote.
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Our unique ‘4 easy steps’ makes the process easy
Expert Estate Planning with Fixed Fees
Meet With Your Lawyer
Whether we meet virtually or face to face, we will listen, answer your questions, craft your estate plan and provide you with a fixed fee quote.
We’ll Keep You Updated
You will receive draft documents to review. You can discuss your plan with us at any time you want.
Final Document Meeting
We will go through all of your final documents together to ensure the plan is exactly what you want.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is an Advance Health Directive?
In Queensland, you have the ability to prepare an Advance Health Directive QLD (AHD) which allows you to outline what medical treatment or health care you wish to receive if you are no longer capable of making decisions for yourself. It can also include information that your health professionals should know, including health conditions, allergies, and religious, spiritual or cultural beliefs that could affect your care. By preparing this document, you are effectively taking the decision-making power out of the hands of your attorneys for personal/health matters, which can relieve them of the burden of making difficult decisions at what may be an emotionally charged time.
Why is a medical/health directive important?
Having an Advance Health Directive or Advance Care Directive in place can relieve your loved ones of the burden of having to make difficult decisions on your behalf at what may be an emotionally charged time, especially at the ‘end of life’ stage where tensions are already high. They will have peace of mind knowing that they are carrying out your wishes rather than having to make these difficult decisions without any guidance.
Does my doctor need to get involved in my Advance Health Directive?
In QLD, your doctor will need to complete part of the AHD form and you will need to make an appointment with them for this purpose. This allows you to ask your doctor to explain your options to you as well as any unfamiliar medical terms.
Similarly, in VIC your Advance Care Directive must be witnessed by a registered medical practitioner.
There is no requirement for your doctor to be involved in the preparation of your Advance Care Directive in NSW. However, you may still wish to speak to your doctor when formulating your written directions.
Do I need to have an Advance Health Directive or Advance Care Directive in place?
No, as your Advance Health Directive / Advance Care Directive / Advance Medical Directive is an entirely optional document. You don’t need to complete it if you do not wish to do so.
In QLD, VIC and NSW, if you have appointed someone to make health decisions on your behalf (either through the Enduring Power of Attorney in Qld and Vic, or the Enduring Guardian in NSW) then the persons you have appointed already have the ability to make decisions regarding your medical treatment if you lose capacity to make these decisions on your own behalf.
You can prepare an Advance Health Directive or Advance Care Directive if you have particular wishes or views that you want to make known to your substitute decision makers and doctors.
"The opportunity to choose from a range of services gave me transparency and control over the amount spent. It turned out I found preparing my Will, Power of Attorney and Advanced Health Directive surprisingly confronting. The need to consider my death, incapacity and the financial security of my family brought a number of very human things sharply into focus for me. I am grateful that I decided to do it before the actual need arose, as the peace of mind it has offered me is palpable. I appreciated having access to the services of a highly professional group of Lawyers who have a focus and vision in just this single part of the legal field. I felt I was in safe hands and I am confident my family will also when the time comes."
"My Estate planning required a sensitive approach and Estate First Lawyers handled our meetings with professionalism, understanding and a caring attitude towards completing the documentation. All my questions and queries were answered clearly and simply."
"Although we were totally ignorant of Estate Planning complexities and already had recent wills in place, thanks to our very competent and pleasant Estate First legal advisor, we are confident our wills, POAs, testimonial trusts etc are legally secure and enduring as specified."