Updated – 8 March 2017
END-OF-LIFE PLANNING: A SUMMARY GUIDE TO DOCUMENTING YOUR WISHES AND CHOOSING AN ENDURING GUARDIAN OR PERSON RESPONSIBLE (Fifth edition, Feb 2017)
(Download here – 2017 edition)
The booklet offers a guide to all the issues that need to be considered and put in place to ensure that your wishes are understood and will be followed, whatever the circumstances of the last part of your life. The new edition also contains a new section that reproduces a Department of Human Services guide to action needed if another dies. This is also helpful to understanding the duties of your family/executors when you die as it will help you make their job as easy as possible.
It can be downloaded and printed as a complete document or the forms – Enduring Power of Attorney, Enduring Guardian form and Advance Care Directive – can also be printed as separate documents. If you do not have download or printing facilities, a printed and bound copy of the document, which includes a loose leaf extra copy of each form, is available from DwDTas at cost (currently $16, plus $5 for postage). If you need the printed version, please contact Bill Godfrey.
The latest version has been updated to include the latest Tasmanian forms for Enduring Guardianship and Advance Care Directives (Tasmanian Department of Health and Human Services) and incorporates a Note re Internet Assets. This provides advice on how to ensure that a successor (or you!) have ready access to usernames, passwords and other key details on any sites you operate or buy from and some simple forms for recording the information.
Why these documents are important
There are major advantages to you – and to the people you care about – if you have sensible plans in place to ensure that your wishes are known and will be followed in a situation where you are not able to state what you want. More and more health bodies and organisations are promoting better advance care and end-of-life planning and demonstrating the benefits for individuals and for their families and friends.
- the documents to consider in your end-of-life planning
- how to ensure they are readily available when needed and
- how to ensure that there is no confusion about who you want to make decisions on your behalf if you are no longer able to act for yourself.
- It is never too early to get the documentation and organisation right. You never know what life has in store and all the legal documents have to be completed while “of sound mind”.
- If you do nothing else, talk to those close to you about what you think and what you would wish in different health and other end-of-life circumstances.
- There are advantages in documenting your wishes and it is particularly important where you know there are differences of opinion within your family.
- Each of the key documents you need to consider is described in this booklet. These are mostly legal documents that need to be properly prepared, signed, witnessed and lodged.
- Those that relate to your health care provide for you to state your health care wishes in circumstances where you cannot speak for yourself and for you to nominate one or more people who you would want to act for you in any necessary decisions.
- It is very important to think through what your wishes are, to discuss these with the person you nominate to act for you and to document them clearly. This booklet includes detailed suggestions on how to go through this process and issues to consider in choosing a person to act for you.
- When completed, these documents have legal force and must be observed.
- It is also important to store your copy of these documents in a place where they can be easily found and to supply copies to relevant people such as your doctor.
Note that much of the legislation to which these notes refer is State based and differs from State to State. These notes refer to Tasmanian law.
Note also that, from time to time, DwDTas runs workshops within Tasmania at which the contents of this Guide are explained and discussed in depth – including any changes to the law that may occur from time to time. If you wish to be notified of these events, or if you have suggestions for an organisation that would appreciate such a workshop being run, or a shorter talk, please contact Bill Godfrey.