So you've decided that is it important to do your ACD
- what next?
- what next?
How do you go about it?
What do you write?
You would not be alone if you found if difficult staring down at a blank page, questioning how to get started.
There are a number of sites that will help you think about the issues and subjects that you might want to cover in your advanced care directive. We encourage you to visit these sites for further information and examples to assist you or you may like to read some of our blogs.
How does acdAssist make it easier?
acdAssist is the first advanced care planning tool that takes you through all three stages:
- Identifying what matters most to you
- Putting your wishes into words
- Having your wishes professionally drafted by a qualified lawyer licensed to use our tool for an upfront fixed fee
acdAssist gives you the best of both worlds.
You can have the convenience of working through your thoughts and priorities in the privacy of your own home at your own pace using an online tool and the reassurance and professional advice from your chosen lawyer, all for a fixed fee, disclosed up front.
How does acdAssist work?
After working through acdAssist, you will initially be provided with a Statement of Wishes. The Statement of Wishes is a record of the matters you identified as important to you, including any explanations or directions you gave in your own words.
Your Statement of Wishes will be provided to your chosen lawyer, who will prepare a legally valid, advance care directive (ACD) meeting your local legal requirements.
You will have access to your lawyer for consultation by telephone and for a face to face conference to discuss your advance care directive and sign it.
How do I start acdAssist?
To start the process, you will need to choose a lawyer from the list of lawyers licensed to use the tool. Clicking on a law firm will take you to the acdAssist page on that firm's website.
Prior to commencing your questionnaire, you will be prompted to enter payment details.
You can complete all the answers in one go if you like. Alternatively you can save some of your answers, and return to complete more of the questionnaire later, once you have thought more about things or discussed them with your loved ones.
You can also go back and change previous answers if you change your mind.
What happens once I have completed all the questions?
At any time during the process you may click the button that says ‘Create Summary’. This will produce a document on your screen referred to as your Statement of Wishes.
Your Statement of Wishes summarises all of your answers and you can print or save the document to your computer for future reference, or to discuss with your family or support people. This document has no legal effect and is intended as a guide for your loved ones in knowing your wishes in your own words.
You can save your answers at any time and you will receive an email with a link which you can use to log back into your acdAssist form to revise your answers. You should ensure you do this until you are satisfied with all your answers.
When you are satified that you have provided the required information you can click the "SUBMIT" button. This will send your information to your chosen legal practitioner, and email a final copy of your Statement of Wishes to you for your records.
You will be asked to confirm that the document accurately reflects your wishes or that you require extra time to consider your answers.
The information which you submit using acdAssist forms the basis for preparing your ACD – your chosen lawyer will use this information to complete your ACD.
What if I need more help while completing the questionnaire?
Before you start working with acdAssist we recommend that you download our Checklist to help you gather the information that you will need to complete the process. If at any stage you need further explanation or some examples to prompt you, you can click on the orange question mark icon next to each question; a pop-up will appear with further information and/or examples. Where you see a grey question mark, hovering over the icon will provide brief tips.
If there is no question mark icon for a particular subject, then you can refer to the government website for a comprehensive guide or contact your chosen lawyer.
What happens when I finish my Statement of Wishes?
When you are happy with your Statement of Wishes click the SUBMIT button and the information will be sent to the legal firm that you have chosen to assist you.
Once they receive your Statement of Wishes, they will prepare a draft ACD incorporating your responses and send this to you, by email, for your consideration. If they need to clarify any points they may contact you to do so prior to completing the draft.
You can call them to discuss the draft and confirm that you are happy with it and they will finalise your document for signing. You will receive instructions on who to contact, and when you should expect to receive your documents in the email that will be sent to you when you submit your form.
When do I sign the final ACD?
Once the ACD is ready for signing, firstly your lawyer will arrange for any Substitute Decision Makers (SDMs) you have chosen to appoint, to sign the document. It is a legal requirement that they do so before you sign. Once they have signed, the lawyer will contact you to make an appointment to discuss the document in person and arrange for you to sign it.
What if my wishes or needs change after I’ve completed my ACD?
If your circumstances or wishes change after you have completed your ACD, you will need to create a new ACD. You cannot make amendments to your existing ACD.
You can contact your lawyer to update the information and create a new document which will need to be signed by your SDM(s) and you.
How much does it cost to complete my ACD using acdAssist?
Before you start using acdAssist you will be asked to enter your credit card details. The fee covers the use of the questionnaire, preparation of your ACD, and telephone assistance. For more information on fees, and each element of service included in the fee, please consult the website of your preferred acdAssist lawyer.
Where do I go for more information on what an ACD does and the role of Substitute Decision Makers?
- the purpose of ACDs;
- the role of Substitute Decision Makers;
- how and when your ACD will be used;
- the value of having an ACD.
acdAssist questions and any prompts are not exhaustive. Please let us know if there are any additional matters you would like to include in your Statement of Wishes.