Your Will

Advanced Care Directives: Are my Enduring Guardianship documents still valid?

Due to changes in South Australian regulation it is important that you double-check any existing Enduring Guardianship documents in order to ensure they are still valid on 1 January 2016.

Due to changes in South Australian regulation it is important that you double-check any existing Enduring Guardianship documents in order to ensure they are still valid on 1 January 2016.

On 1 July 2014, legislation commenced in South Australia introducing the Advance Care Directive.

The Advance Care Directive (ACD) replaced the Enduring Guardian, Medical Power of Attorney and Anticipatory Direction.

The ACD relates to the appointing of a substitute decision maker in relation to health, medical, personal and lifestyle decisions and the expression of wishes in relation to those decisions.

If an Enduring Guardian, Medical Power of Attorney or Anticipatory Direction was prepared and signed prior to 1 July 2014 they are still recognised under the new legislation. However, it is possible that clients have signed an Enduring Guardianship document without obtaining the acceptance of their appointed guardian or substitute guardians.

In May 2015 the SA government released regulations which have the effect of saying that if the Enduring Guardianship document has not been accepted by all guardians (whether original or substituted) before 31 December 2015 then the appointment will be invalid from 1 January 2016 and will not be recognised under the new legislation and therefore a new ACD would be required.

We are therefore encouraging all clients (and non-clients) to double check their Enduring Guardianship document (if they have one) and check whether they have been accepted. If they haven’t then please make arrangements as soon as possible for your appointed guardian or substitute guardian to see a Justice of the Peace or a Lawyer to have their acceptance witnessed.

Lawyers are available at all TGB offices to witness their acceptance and it will only take a few minutes of their time to ensure that your document continues to be valid.

If your circumstances have changed or you wish to appoint a different person/people as your substitute decision maker or you need an Advance Care Directive then feel free to contact our Wills and Estates team regarding the Advance Care Directive.

Click here for more information regarding Advanced Care Directives.

If you have any further questions or wish to find your nearest TGB office location, contact us.

On August 1, 2017, the Relationships Register commenced in South Australia, giving greater legal recognition to LGBTQI and de facto relationships. To find out how the Register impacts your will click here.