FAQs

Common Questions Answered

What is an Advance Care Directive (ACD)?

An Advance Care Directive is like a letter to your loved ones and to your doctors, telling them the medical treatment you do or do not wish to have at the end of your life.

Different people, states and countries use words such as Advance Health Directive or Living Will.

With Advance Life Care you can prepare your individual document tailored to you, and then send it to your GP, family or solicitor according to the requirements of  the state you live in.

Whatever you call it, in general this document must be dated. The person must be mentally competent. It must be completed voluntarily (ie not under any coercion). The person signing should consider their state of health now as well as in the future.

An Advance Care Directive is not a will.

In Australia it does not require a solicitor, and it doesn’t talk about funeral and burial arrangements.

How does an Advance Care Plan or Directive differ from a Power of Attorney or Enduring Guardianship?

In Australia, A Power of Attorney appoints someone else to act on your behalf in financial and administrative affairs only. They can do this if you are sick, overseas or unable to look after your own affairs. It stops having effect if you lose your mental capacity and is invalid after death.

An Enduring Power of Attorney appoints someone else to act on your behalf but continues if you lose your mental capacity.

Enduring Guardianship appoints someone to make decisions on your behalf about medical treatment and quality of life issues. There is no directive or document from you about your wishes.

Where there is both an Advance Care Document and an Enduring Guardianship, the wishes in the Advance Care Directive over ride the Enduring Guardianship.

I live in Australia. What are the requirements for my Advance Care Directive to be legal?

Requirements vary state to state.

Click here for in depth answers End of Life Law in Australia

What is important to know is that all states have reciprocity and accept Advance Care Directives written elsewhere.

Also all states agree that if you have stated your wishes clearly and shared them with your trusted people in advance, your Advance Care Directive is valid.

In NSW your Advance Care Directive can be written in any form and does not require signing or witnessing. Simply use our platform to send your completed Advance Life Care to your GP and trusted people and you are finished.

In other states, we suggest you complete your Advance Life Care and send to your GP, then discuss with them any additional requirements to be added if necessary.

It is easy to sign and witness the front page if necessary.

 

End of Life Law in Australia is a fabulous resource for all your legal questions.

I live outside Australia. Can I still use Advance Life Care to plan and share my wishes?

Absolutely.

No matter where you live in the world, you can still use our free and easy self assessment questionnaire to find out what you really feel about life’s most important questions.

You will be able to create a PDF document tailored to your personal wishes of the medical care you do and don’t want. You can then share a secure link to your Advance Care Directive (ACD) to your doctor, loved ones and whoever else you need to complete the legal requirements for your country or state.

You are also able to use our platform to edit, update, and resend the link at any time you choose and the link will always show the latest version of your ACD. As many times as you choose.

Wherever you live in the world, and whatever the legal terms that are used, you need a plan written by you, for you.

Is an Advance Care Document the same as an Advance Care Directive or Advance Care Plan?

In some states of Australia the words Advance Care Plan, Advance Care Directive, or Living Will are used interchangeably. In ACT, the words Statement of Choice are used. In NSW however, there are two parts to making an Advance Care Plan. Learn more about NSW specific requirements in the following question!

How does it differ from a Power of Attorney or Enduring Guardianship?

A Power of Attorney appoints someone else to act on your behalf in financial and  administrative affairs only. They can do this if you are sick, overseas or unable to look after your own affairs. It stops having effect if you lose your mental capacity and is invalid after death.

An Enduring Power of Attorney appoints someone else to act on your behalf but continues if you lose your mental capacity.

Enduring Guardianship  appoints someone to make decisions on your behalf about medical treatment and quality of life issues. There is no directive or document from you about your wishes.

Where there is both an Advance Care Document and an Enduring Guardianship, the wishes in the Advance Care Document over ride the Enduring Guardianship.

Can I talk to my GP about my Advance Care Document?

Yes. We encourage this and make it easy for you to discuss your health and wishes for medical care with your doctor.

You can send your GP a link to the questionnaire so they can check it for you or make an appointment to discuss your questions about your questionnaire.

You can start your questionnaire, discuss any questions with your GP and return to finish your document later.

You can nominate your GP as your Responsible Person or include them as one of your trusted people with a copy of your document.

In an emergency your GP will often be contacted by a hospital, and it is helpful if they know what your wishes would be.

It is a doctor’s professional duty to uphold confidentiality at all times.

Security is key. How do I know my details are secure?

Advance Life Care secures critical customer data via a segmented design. Individual user records are separated using access control lists, ensuring no user data is exposed to any other user. The final public connection to and from the server will feature AES 256 bit encryption.

The servers are located in an extremely secure, PCI DSS approved data center in Sydney, with access strictly limited to secure personnel only.

There are no links to any government websites or use of any identifying information such as medicare numbers or government websites.

We are as concerned as you about your privacy and about ensuring your retain control over your life.

What if I change my mind?

We expect that you will change your mind and that is why Advance Life Care makes it easy for you to change and update your document at any time.

We recommend you renew or update your document every year, or after every major change in life circumstances.

We will contact you occasionally to remind you to do this.

What if I or my loved ones are travelling overseas?

With Advance Life Care your wishes are easily accessed by doctors and medical services all around the world by a secure link to the latest version of your Advance Care Directive.

What if my family disagree with my wishes?

To avoid confusion and conflict, your Advance Care Document should be shared and discussed in advance with the people who will be making decisions on your behalf. This could be your loved ones, your GP, or someone else that you appoint.

Advance Life Care ensures your document is clear and simple, legally valid, and accepted by medical doctors so there is less risk of family confusion and conflict.

Can an Advance Care Document adhere to my religious or cultural beliefs?

Yes. Our questionnaire helps you to create a personalised Advance Care Document that outlines your wishes for medical care, including any religious or cultural practices that are important to you.

You may want to discuss your Advance Care Document with your religious leader to understand your religion’s beliefs about end-of- life care.

My parent has dementia. What do I do?

An Advance Care Document or Directive is made when you are of sound mind. If a parent has dementia then it is too late for them to complete an Advance Care Document, Plan or Directive. In this case an Enduring Guardian would make decisions for them.

A person with dementia can be easily irritated, aggressive, shocking, and non cooperative. Like you, they are probably stressed, confused, and not their normal self.

I want to remove all data from the Advance Life Care platform. How do I do this?

No problem! Just complete our contact form on the contact page and let us know in the comments field that you want to close and remove your account and all data. We will be in touch to verify your identity so we can commence the removal.

Creating an Advance Care Document