Time to plan ahead
23 February 2022
Planning ahead for the unexpected is vital to ensuring, no matter what happens in life, Queenslanders’ wishes, values and care preferences are known by our loved ones.
Advance care plans communicate your preferences and wishes for future care needs that can be activated and enacted in the event an individual is unable to make decisions for themselves or communicate their wishes.
CEO and Public Trustee of Queensland Samay Zhouand said advance care planning assists in securing your wishes and preferences are enacted in the event your decision-making capacity is impacted.
“Your advance life plan could include your Statement of Choices, listing your values, beliefs and care preferences as well as legal documents including an Enduring Power of Attorney and Advance Health Directive,” Mr Zhouand said.
These documents protect Queenslanders and support their loved ones to make decisions on their behalf, through what can be very difficult circumstances.
Advance life planning documents and conversations with loved ones also protect what is most important in life, giving the opportunity for Queenslanders to outline care arrangements for individuals, children, or pets, in the event that it is needed.
Mr Zhouand said all Queenslanders should have advance life plans in place, no matter our age, as we just don’t know what could be around the corner.
“Queenslanders often believe that they only need to have arrangements in place when they get older.
“It is devasting, but we see young people impacted by an accident or illness that leaves them unable to make decisions for themselves.
“Without the appropriate documents in place, their loved ones are often left to guess if the decisions being made on their behalf truly reflect what they would have wanted, adding additional stress to the family in already very difficult situations,” he said.
Queenslanders want the best for their families, and the best way to do that is to be prepared for the unexpected.
This begins by having a conversation with loved ones about what is most important, including the treatment and care options that best align with individual wishes and preferences.
Mr Zhouand said no matter what age, it is time to plan ahead by ensuring wishes are known.
"Making your intentions known can help provide you and your family peace of mind in uncertain and emotional times.
“For advice based on individual circumstances, contact your local solicitor, legal firm or a practitioner that specialises in Elder Law using the ‘find a solicitor’ website function, or you can contact the Public Trustee for more information,” he said.
Visit the Public Trustee website for more information – www.pt.qld.gov.au
Statement of Choices template along with other advance life planning documents and information are available to download from the Office of Advance Care Planning: https://metrosouth.health.qld.gov.au/acp
Queenslanders can find a local solicitor or Elder Law specialist using the Queensland Law Society’s Find a Solicitor function, available here: https://www.qls.com.au/Find-a-Solicitor/Search.
Media Manager – Public Trustee
0466 320 688