Please note that the information contained in this article strictly deals with Western Australian Law.
For many people, not being in control of the decisions they make if a terrible accident or medical issue arises that leaves you unable to make decisions for themselves is their worst nightmare. Thankfully, under Western Australian legislation you can safeguard yourself from this by taking steps to have legal documents prepared to protect your future.
For instance, if tomorrow you were in a car accident and suffered a severe brain injury leaving you unable to communicate or make decisions for yourself, you would be relying on others to make decisions for you about your medical treatment. However, if you were to have an Alternative Health Directive prepared for you, you would be able to set out the treatment options that you want, if specific medical conditions arise, and have this set out in one legally binding document that your doctors must follow. This is particularly important in situations where you are concerned that your loved ones may make emotional decisions that approve painful life saving treatments, in circumstances where you would otherwise refuse this treatment if you could make the decision for yourself.
Alternatively, if you trust your loved ones not to make the right decisions for you, then you can appoint them as your approved decision maker(s) under an Enduring Power of Guardianship, where they could then make decisions on your behalf regarding your lifestyle, personal life, and health. You can also have an Enduring Power of Attorney prepared, where you can appoint people that you trust to make decisions regarding your finances and property.
Regardless of whether you have health concerns or are simply getting a little older, it is crucial that you set in stone what you want to happen and who will make decisions for you if the worst is to happen, so you can have peace of mind in these situations.
Please contact us at our Kununurra office and we would be happy to discuss these documents with you and help you determine which are right for you, so you stay in control of your future.