Deciding how you want to live out your last days is a touchy subject for most people, but if you don’t take the time to do so now, you and your loved ones could end up suffering needlessly. While you are still of sound mind, you need to determine whom you trust to make decisions about your lifestyle and medical care if you are ever incapacitated.
An expert Adelaide estate planning lawyer can document your end-of-life wishes with an Advance Care Directive to help you attain peace of mind about your future and get back to the business of living in the moment.
What Is an Advance Care Directive?
The new Advance Care Directive has only been available in South Australia since 1st July 2014, and is intended to take the place of older documents known as Medical Power of Attorney, Anticipatory Direction and Enduring Power of Guardianship. If you have these older documents in place, they are still valid until you complete the new form.
The Advance Care Directive allows you to explicitly state your wishes for future accommodation & health care & treatment as well as end-of-life care, which includes refusing medical treatments that may prolong your life but not enhance its quality. It also allows you to appoint another person to assist you in making these decisions, or to make these decisions for you if you are mentally incapacitated or unconscious.
What If You Do Not Prepare an Advance Care Directive?
Without the right legal documents in place, many elderly people die hooked up to machines in hospitals rather than in the peaceful surroundings of their own homes as they would like. Certain medical treatments may prolong their lives, but can be at the cost of their peace-of-mind and dignity. If you do not make your wishes clear with a valid Advance Care Directive, your family members and doctors will have to make these decisions for you. The various interested parties may have conflicting ideas about what is best for you, which may result in unnecessary family strife at an already difficult time. It may also result in overtreatment and artificially prolonging your life when you might have preferred to die naturally.
Advance Care Directives and Wills in Adelaide
An Advance Care Directive does not cover financial or legal decisions, nor does it take the place of a Will. Your Adelaide Wills and Estates lawyer can help you make sense of this and other estate planning issues so that your health care, treatment, lifestyle and financial wishes are carried out at the end of your life, so contact Genders & Partners as soon as possible to schedule your free phone consultation.
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