Before documenting your plan in Tasmania, it's important to have a good understanding of what advance care planning is and what's involved in the advance care planning process.

On this page you can learn about the process and find the relevant forms to make an advance care directive.

Recording your choices

In Tasmania, there are two ways you can record your choices for future medical care:

  1. Appoint an enduring guardian
  2. Complete an Advance Care Directive

Enduring guardian

When you appoint an enduring guardian, you are choosing a trusted relative or friend to manage your health care. The person(s) you appoint becomes your substitute decision-maker if you are no longer able to make decisions.

You may want to appoint one or more adults to this role. To do this, you need to complete the Enduring Guardian Instrument form [PDF 97.2 KB] on the Tasmanian Civil and Administrative Tribunal website.

The form has specific requirements for completion and witnessing. Your chosen enduring guardian(s) must accept this role by signing the form.

The form must be registered with the Guardianship and Administration Board. It is not legally binding until registered. To register, lodge at any Service Tasmania Shop.

Your enduring guardian(s) can consent to or refuse treatment on your behalf. They must act in accordance with any lawful conditions relating to medical or personal care decisions contained in the form. If no conditions are listed, the guardian(s) will have full powers.

They must make the decision that is in your best interest. They should take your views and preferences into account and make the decision they believe you would make if you could make your own decision. For this reason, it is helpful to talk to them about what is important to you and any preferences you have.

Request for Emergency Order

It’s possible to appoint a substitute decision-maker on behalf of someone else in urgent situations when the person has not already appointed an enduring guardian. To do this you will need to complete the Request for Emergency Order Application [PDF 2.6 MB]. Details for how to lodge the application are on the form.

Advance Care Directive

An Advance Care Directive records your specific preferences for future health care. This includes treatments you would accept or refuse if you had a life-threatening illness or injury. An Advance Care Directive will only be used if you do not have capacity to make decisions for yourself or to communicate your preferences.

To complete an Advance Care Directive, fill out the Advance Care Directive form. This information sheet [PDF 213 KB] will help you fill in the form.

In your Advance Care Directive, you can write:

  • an instructional directive with legally binding instructions about future medical treatment you consent to or refuse
  • a values directive which documents your values and preferences for your substitute decision-maker to consider when making decisions for you
  • details of your enduring guardian(s) or Person(s) Responsible.

Specific instructions

In your Advance Care Directive, you can give specific instructions about certain medical treatments.

For example, you might ask that life-prolonging treatment - such as tube feeding or resuscitation - be withheld or withdrawn if you have:

  • a terminal illness with no known cure or chance of recovery
  • severe and irreversible brain damage, and you can’t communicate
  • a severe illness or injury that you’ll probably never recover from.

Completing an advance care plan for someone else

If a person is no longer able to make or communicate their decisions, a family member or healthcare professional can document medical treatment preferences on a person’s behalf using the Advance care plan for a person with insufficient decision-making capacity form [PDF 620.78 KB].

This advance care plan isn’t legally binding but can be useful to inform care decisions, and should be taken into account.

Storing your documents

We recommend uploading your documents to My Health Record.

You must also register your Instrument Appointing Enduring Guardian form with the Guardianship and Administration Board. You can do this at any Service Tasmania Shop.

It’s important that you share copies of your documents with your enduring guardian(s), family, friends, carers and your doctors. This will ensure everyone knows what you want

You can also download and print a wallet card [PDF 117.46 KB] to let others know that you have an advance care directive.

Making changes and revoking documents

We recommend that you review your decisions and documents regularly. This is particularly important if there is a change in your health, personal or living situation.

You can update your Advance Care Directive or your appointment of an enduring guardian at any time providing you still have decision-making capacity.

Your Advance Care Directive ends when you complete a new Advance Care Directive, you revoke it, it expires (if an expiry date is included) or you die. You should let others know of any changes, and provide updated copies.

Your enduring guardian appointment(s) ends if you revoke it, if the people appointed are unable to act, resign their appointment, or if you die.

Getting help

Contact our National Advance Care Planning Support ServiceTM on 1300 208 582 for more information and advice. We're available 9am – 5pm, Monday – Friday (AEST).

Applicability in other states and territories

In general, a valid advance care directive will apply in other places in Australia, although there may be some limitations and additional requirements. Learn more about applicability in specific states and territories.

Legal information

For more in-depth legal information, read about advance care planning laws in Tasmania.

See also

Last updated: September 2023