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Why it’s important that every adult have an Advance Care Directive?

Posted on 16th April 2020
Catherine Henry Lawyers
Catherine Henry Lawyers

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Why it’s important that every adult have an Advance Care Directive

It’s a common misconception that an Advance Care Directive only applies to the old or dying. We like to think that we will all live a healthy long life, but in reality, no one knows what will happen in the future or can predict what might happen with our health.

Having a conversation with your loved ones about how you’d like to be taken care of if something happens to you, is not something that comes up easily. An Advance Care Directive helps you and your family navigate through the uncomfortable topic of the decisions that they will make on your behalf when you’re not able to. This could happen because of an accident or your health deteriorates, and this can occur at any age and at any stage of your life.

An Advance Care Directive gives you voice when you have lost the ability to communicate. It’s about having your wishes of the type of medical care that you want or don’t want clearly written. An Advance Care Directive also gives your family and friends guidance when they are faced with the decision about your care.

It answers questions such as:

  • Would you like to be resuscitated or would you let nature take its course?
  • Do you have any religious belief that you would like your doctor or family to respect when making health care decisions?
  • Who do you want to make the final decision if your family members can’t agree?

We often see young couples who have just started a family make a Will in order to protect their partner or children should something happens to one of them. At Catherine Henry Lawyers, the making of an Advance Care Directive forms part of the discussion we have with our clients when we take their instructions for Wills or Enduring Powers of Attorney. You can make an Advance Care Directive any time after reaching 18 years of age. You do not need a lawyer to make an Advance Care Directive that is enforceable.

However, a lawyer can assist you in understanding how the Advance Care Directive connects with your Will and Estate Planning documents, and can store the document for you safely, alongside your Will and other important legal documents.

If you have made an Advance Care Directive in another state or territory in Australia prior to moving to NSW, the Advance Care Directive is recognised in NSW and remains enforceable.

At Catherine Henry Lawyers, our Wills and Estates team are happy to assist you with any questions you may have about making an Advance Care Directive. To confidentially discuss your needs call us on 1800 874 949 or fill in the form below, and we will be in touch.

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