What is acdAssist?
acdAssist is a guided question and answer process which helps individuals complete an Advance Care Directive (ACD) at their own speed and in their own words. It helps them to identify their wishes and needs which they may find difficult to express in a face to face meeting.
It is cost effective for the individual as they do not have to pay for a lawyer to sit through their thought process.
It is also effective for lawyers who can be confident that their clients have had time to consider what is really important to them and to discuss those wishes with their loved ones. It also means that rather than drafting the form from scratch the lawyer only has to review the completed document to ensure it meets the client’s wishes and attend to the signing process.
How does it work?
If an individual lands on the acdAssist website, they will be prompted to choose a lawyer to help them with the preparation of their ACD. There is a list on the acdAssist website of practitioners licensed to use the acdAssist tool. The list will be randomly sorted, not alphabetical, and will be searchable by location.
Once they have chosen their preferred law firm, the individual will be directed to the acdAssist page located on that firm’s website in order to complete the online form.
Existing clients or individuals browsing a law firm’s website can go directly to the acdAssist tool located on the firm’s website.
Individuals will need to sign up to use the acdAssist tool via the login page located on the law firm’s website and make a fixed fee payment to the law firm before they can start completing the form.
Completing the form
Individuals can complete all the answers in one go or they can save their answers, and return to complete later once they have thought more about things or discussed them with their loved ones. They can also go back and change previous answers if they change their mind.
The form includes handy hints and suggested answers as well as extensive information to help guide individuals through the form. If they cannot find an answer to their question within the form they are directed to the government website and other useful websites, or are advised to contact their chosen law firm.
What happens after an individual completes the online form?
Once the online form has been completed and their answers submitted the individual will be emailed a summary of their answers in a document called a Statement of Wishes. This document summarises their answers which they can save or print for them to review. The email will ask them to check the content of the Statement of Wishes and to respond that either:
- the document accurately reflects their wishes and they require an ACD to be prepared on that basis; or
- they require extra time to consider their answers and will re-submit the form once they have finalised their answers.
Their response will be sent to the reviewing lawyer.
The acdAssist tool will automatically incorporate the individual’s answers into the correct spaces in the ACD form. A Microsoft Word version of the ACD form is emailed to the lawyer together with a copy of the Statement of Wishes for them to review.
The lawyer should check that the answers set out in the Statement of Wishes are accurately reflected in the draft ACD. The draft ACD should then be sent to the client for review.
Once the ACD has been reviewed by the lawyer and the client it is ready for signing. The lawyer will need to contact the individual to arrange for their Substitute Decision Makers and the individual to sign the form.
Where do I go for more information on acdAssist?
If you have any queries relating to acdAssist or your law firm is interested in becoming licensed to use the acdAssist tool, please contact us directly by phone on (08) 8111 4080 or submit your enquiry using the form below.