Plan Ahead

Plan Ahead Week: 6 - 12 September 2021


Plan Ahead to safeguard your rights and take control of your future. Complete the legal tools available and discuss your wishes with your family and friends. The completed tools mean family and those close to you will know your choices and be prompted to act upon them if you cannot express yourself at some time in the future.

Sudden accidents can happen, or you may become very ill or develop a condition that affects your memory and your planning ability.

Thinking about your future and making your wishes known in advance can help reduce family stress and conflict during times of crisis.

It is never too early to plan ahead. Talk to your family and those close to you now about your future wishes. Act now to safeguard your future health, financial, legal and personal choices. Remember to leave copies of your documents with your loved ones, your GP, your legal team and your local hospital.

How do I Plan Ahead?

Advance Care Directives

An Advance Care Directive is a legal form that allows people over the age of 18 years to:

  • Write down their wishes, preferences and instructions for future health care, living arrangements, personal matters and end of life
  • Appoint one or more substitute decision-makers to make these decisions on their behalf when they’re unable to do so themselves.

Visit the Advance Care Directives website to download or print an Advance Care Directive form or Do-It-Yourself Kit, or purchase professionally printed hard copies. Hard copy forms cost $1 and Kits cost $5.

For free legal advice, phone the Legal Services Commission on 1300 366 424.

For further information including helpful fact sheets phone the Office of the Public Advocate’s Information Service on 8342 8200.

Enduring Power of Attorney

Making an Enduring Power of Attorney means your financial affairs can be looked after by someone you know and trust, and continues to operate even after you become legally incapacitated and decisions need to be made on your behalf.

You cannot make a power of attorney after you have become legally incapacitated. You can cancel your enduring power of attorney at any time, as long as you still have legal capacity.

The Legal Services Commission of South Australia has Enduring Power of Attorney Kits available to purchase for $22. The Kit includes the forms you’ll need and explains how to complete and use them. Visit the website for further information.

The Public Trustee provides Will making and Enduring Power of Attorney services to eligible concession holders or those subject to administration or guardianship orders issued by SACAT or the Courts. For further information and to check your eligibility, please visit the website.

Will

Make a Will and nominate who you want your property and possessions (your ‘estate’) to go to after your death.

There is no legal requirement that a solicitor must prepare a Will, but using a legal professional will make sure your Will is legal and reduce the possibility of it being contested or challenged.

If you don’t have a legal Will, South Australian laws determine how your property or ‘estate’ will be divided.

The Legal Services Commission of South Australia provides free information and legal advice on Wills. Or you could engage a private lawyer.

Organ and tissue donation

You can record your decision to become an organ and tissue donor by registering on the Australian Organ Donor Register. All you need is your Medicare card. Registering is voluntary and you have complete choice over which organs or tissues to donate. Talk with your family and those close to you about your decision so they know your intentions.

More information can be found on the DonateLife South Australia website.

An Enduring Power of Guardianship, Medical Power of Attorney or Anticipatory Direction completed prior to 1 July 2014 is still legally effective. Or you can make a new Advance Care Directive to replace them.

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