Advance Care Directives

If you have already completed an Enduring Power of Guardianship, a Medical Power of Attorney or an Anticipatory Direction, these are still legally effective, unless you complete the new Advance Care Directive Form.

What is an Advance Care Directive?

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, end of life, living arrangements and personal matters and/or
  • appoint one or more Substitute Decision-Makers to make these decisions on their behalf when they are unable to do so themselves.

It cannot be used to make financial decisions.

If you have written a refusal of health care, it must be followed if relevant to the circumstances at the time. All other information written in your Advance Care Directive is advisory and should be used as a guide to decision-making by your Substitute Decision-Maker(s), your health practitioners or anyone else making decisions on your behalf.

It is your choice whether or not to write an Advance Care Directive. No one can force you to have one or to write things you do not want. These are offences under the law.

You can change your Advance Care Directive at any time while you are still able by completing a new Advance Care Directive Form.

Your new Advance Care Directive Form will replace all other documents you may have completed previously, for example an Enduring Power of Guardianship, Medical Power of Attorney or Anticipatory Direction.

When will it be used?

Your Advance Care Directive only takes effect (can only be used) if you are unable to make your own decisions, whether temporarily or permanently.
If you cannot:

  • understand information about the decision
  • understand and appreciate the risks and benefits of the choices
  • remember the information for a short time; and
  • tell someone what the decision is and why you have made the decision.

It means you are unable to make the decision (sometimes called impaired decision-making capacity) and someone else will need to make the decision for you.

Who will make decisions for you when you cannot?

It is your choice whether or not you appoint one or more Substitute Decision-Makers. If you have appointed one or more Substitute Decision-Makers, they will be legally able to make decisions for you about your health care, living arrangements and other personal matters when you are unable to. You can specify the types of decisions you want them to make in the Conditions of Appointment Part 2b of your Advance Care Directive Form.

If you do not appoint any Substitute Decision-Makers, others close to you may be asked to make decisions for you if you are unable to (Person Responsible). They must follow any relevant wishes or instructions you have written in your Advance Care Directive.

Anyone making a decision for you will need to make a decision they think you would have made in the same circumstances.

Refusals of health care

You may have written in your Advance Care Directive that you do not want certain types of health care, also known as a refusal of health care. It is important to make sure you have written down when or under what circumstances any refusals of health care apply.

If you have refused specific health care in your Advance Care Directive, your Substitute Decision-Maker(s) (Person Responsible) and your health practitioner must follow that refusal if it is relevant to the current circumstances.

This means that your health practitioner will not be able to give health care treatment you have refused.

If you refuse health care but do not write down when the refusal applies, it will apply at all times.

A health practitioner can only override a refusal of health care if there is evidence to suggest you have changed your mind but did not update your Advance Care Directive, or the health practitioner believes you didn’t mean the refusal of health care to apply in the current circumstance.

If this happens they will need consent from your Substitute Decision-Makers, if you have any, or a Person Responsible, to provide any health care.
You cannot refuse compulsory mental health treatment as listed in a community or involuntary treatment order if you have one.

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The Mediators Parenting Plan

The following document provides some points to help you in putting together a comprehensive parenting plan. Write down your own goals, preferences, etc.; don’t worry about what your ex partner may want, just write down what you would like to see happen.

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Contravention application documents & letters

This bundle includes the first letter to the solicitor on the contravention matter, the letter from the solicitor to the other parent, and a sample affidavit.

The documentation provided are samples that can be used as a templates in matters involving a contravention of existing Court orders.

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My Last Will

This a free and good quality Will template provided by LegalZebra, a team who provide a service in the delivery of online legal templates.

They claim that their online legal templates are inspired by the beauty and simplicity of zebras. They provide an easy and affordable way for every-day Australians to put their legals in black and white.

Please note however that some pages in this sample Will are missing, but otherwise it is a well constructed document.

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Co-Habitation Agreement

This contract is referred to as a Cohabitation or more accurately a Binding Financial Agreement (BFA).

Cohabitation Agreements are made between people who are living together or intending to live together but not intending to get married.

Couples intending to get married should define their relationship with a Prenuptial Agreement under section 90B of the family law act.

Your Cohabitation agreement becomes a legal expression of your intent as de facto partners – you can define how you intend to divide your assets and maintain any children you may have.



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How to Draft an Affidavit

An affidavit is defined as a statement in writing that sets out the facts of a case. It sets out the evidence in a matter. It must be either sworn or affirmed, usually before a Justice of the Peace, Commissioner of Oaths or lawyer, as a true record. This swearing or affirming process is referred to as attesting. Affirming means that you state that you will tell the truth and usually that you are aware of the penalties for making a wilfully false statement.

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Sample Federal Magistrates Court Equal Time Parenting Plan

A sample parenting plan intended to be submitted to the (then) Federal Magistrates Court, which includes shared parenting on an equal time basis for 2 children.

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Counselling Solutions Parenting Plan

This parenting plan was quickly changed from 3 days on/off to 7 days on/off which is a MUCH better situation for the kids.
Also this plan has a number of unhelpful point scoring items in it from one of the parents that clearly is not in the children’s best interests.

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Kennedy Plan (Example, Australia, 2006)

Source: Ian Kennedy AM, Chairman, Family Law Section, Law Council of Australia. National Access to Justice and Pro Bono Conference 11-12 August 2006, Melbourne. Presentation: “Family Relationship Centres”

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Sample Pre-Nuptial Agreement – NSW

This is a sample Australian (but New South Wales based) pre-nuptial agreement created in Microsoft Word and provided as a PDF file.

It makes references to NSW Courts and legislation, making it NSW-centric.

It is estimated to have been created on or about 2007.

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