Shape Icon

Advance Care Plans

5 December 2019

As lawyers, we talk to our clients a lot about Wills. It’s the one thing everyone should have, even if you don’t own a lot of property or material possessions, or you have a small family.

However, even with a Will, you may want to consider other documents to ensure your
interests are protected. 

Recently, the government created an initiative to encourage people to prepare Advance
Care Plans, helping people have those difficult conversations about what care they want when they are unwell. An Advance Care Plan sets out what you want to happen in terms of your future health and end of life care should you be unable to make those decisions yourself.

  • What illnesses have members of your family had, that could happen to you?
  • Do you have any health conditions you’re receiving care or treatment for?
  • What might your illness mean for the people who may need to care for you, especially if you’re not in a position to tell them yourself?

Your Advance Care Plan will set out answers to all these questions and more so you, your friends, family and medical team can face the future with confidence. 

You can share your Advance Care Plan with your family, trusted advisors and medical
professionals so they’re fully informed about your treatment and care choices, what to do if you can’t make decisions, the kind of hospice care you would like to receive, and instructions for after your death. 

You can download an Advance Care Plan & Guide here which will guide you through most of the steps yourself without the need for legal advice. However, there is one point which does cross over with our work at Godfreys Law.

We help many of our clients set up Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPA) to deal with their
personal care and welfare. This is a legal document that sets out who can make decisions about your care and welfare, if you’re unable to make them.

That person is usually a close friend or family member who you trust to understand and respect your wishes. That Attorney will be able to look to the Advance Care Plan for guidance on what you want to happen.

What happens if what the Attorney thinks should happen next differs from what you have in your Advance Care Plan? There’s some very delicate work to be done, making sure your Advance Care Plan and Enduring Powers of Attorney link together, so everyone is cooperating in your best interests.

If you would like advice on setting up your affairs to best align with what you want, contact Shona Senior at Godfreys Law.