NSW

Forms and requirements for writing Advance Care Directives and appointing substitute decision-makers vary between and states and territories.

The following outlines the legal requirements, forms and fact sheets in New South Wales (NSW):


Frequently asked questions

Advance care planning and the law

If you are unable to make decisions about your own health care, substitute decision-makers can make decisions on your behalf.

Your substitute decision-maker may be:

  • nominated by you (an enduring guardian)
  • appointed by a tribunal (a guardian), or
  • appointed by default under legislation (a person responsible).

Enduring guardian

You can appoint one or more adults as your enduring guardian by completing an Enduring Guardian appointment form.

You cannot appoint a person who provides you with medical services, accommodation or other daily activities.

Your enduring guardian can make decisions relating to refusal/withdrawal of treatment and give consent for procedures.

Guardian

A guardian is a person appointed by the New South Wales Civil and Administrative Tribunal to a ‘person in need of a guardian’.

A guardianship order may be continuing or temporary and may be full or limited.

Person responsible

A person responsible is the person designated under NSW law if there is no enduring guardian or appointed guardian.

Your person responsible would be chosen on your behalf in the following order:

  1. your spouse
  2. your carer
  3. a close friend or relative.

(This means your carer would be chosen as your person responsible if you don’t have a spouse, and a close friend or relative would be chosen if you don’t have a spouse or a carer.)

Advance Care Directive

In NSW there is no law relating to advance care planning documents, but the NSW courts recognise Advance Care Directives as valid. It only comes into effect if you are unable to make your own decisions.

Your directive allows you to refuse or withdraw medical treatment. You can use the recommended form or similar when completing your plan.

We recommend that you regularly review your Advance Care Directive. Usually, health professionals are obliged to comply with the preferences stated in your Advance Care Directive, so ensure it is kept up to date.

If you want to change your Advance Care Directive, make a new one to revoke the existing directive. We encourage you to upload your Advance Care Directive to My Health Record and give a copy to your substitute decision-maker, GP and/or hospital.

As there is no legislation, the common law applies and this is unclear. A person who wants to amend or revoke their plan should be encouraged to rewrite their advance care directive.
The common law applies. If the Advance Care Directive complies with the common law requirements, a health care professional should comply with it.
In NSW, there is no legislation regarding the recording of mental health treatment preferences. A person may want to include preferences relating to mental health treatment in their Advance Care Directive.

An Advance Care Directive made in NSW will apply in:

  • South Australia (if it complies with South Australian law).
  • Northern Territory (as long as the substitute decision-maker works within Northern Territory requirements).
  • Queensland (if it meets the Queensland Advance Health Directive requirements).
  • Western Australia (if an order is made by the State Administrative Tribunal to recognise the plan)
  • Victoria (from 12 March 2018) (if it complies with Victorian law it will be recognised as a values directive).

Please contact the Office of the Public Advocate for more information if you wish.


Forms

Advance care planning forms

  • Form

    Making an Advance Care Directive (NSW)

    NSW Government

    This package includes an Advance Care Directive form and Information Booklet, and is one of many advance care planning and end of life resources available for use for those living in NSW.
  • Form

    Statement of Values and Wishes (South Western Sydney, NSW)

    NSW Government

    View the advance care plan form available to those living in South Western Sydney, NSW. It can be used as a template for anyone writing an advance care plan.
  • Form

    Appointment of Enduring Guardian (NSW)

    NSW Government

    As part of your advance care plan, you can legally appoint a substitute decision-maker under the Guardianship Act 1987. The Appointment of Enduring Guardian form is required to choose a substitute decision-maker in New South Wales.
  • Form

    Notice of Resignation as Enduring Guardian (NSW)

    NSW Government

    A substitute decision-maker can resign by giving written notice using this form to the person who appointed them. This form can only be used if the appointor still has the capacity to make personal decisions. Otherwise, the substitute decision-maker can only resign with approval from the NSW Civil & Administrative Tribunal.
  • Form

    Revocation of Appointment of Enduring Guardian (NSW)

    NSW Government

    View this form to revoke your appointment of an Enduring Guardian in New South Wales.

Information

Supporting information, guides and checklists

  • Articles & Publications

    Enduring Guardianship in New South Wales

    Public Guardian

    Enduring guardianship is a legal tool that allows you to choose your future health and lifestyle decision-maker. The booklet also contains the forms you will need to appoint or revoke and enduring guardian, or to resign as an enduring guardian.

Fact sheets

Advance care planning fact sheets

  • Fact sheet

    Advance care planning and the law: NSW

    Advance Care Planning Australia

    This fact sheet is for individuals, providing an overview about advance care planning and New South Wales (NSW) law.
  • Fact sheet

    Advance care planning fact sheet for individuals and family

    Advance Care Planning Australia

    Information about advance care planning for individuals and their families.
  • Fact sheet

    Advance care planning fact sheet for substitute decision-makers

    Advance Care Planning Australia

    Information about advance care planning for substitute decision-makers.
  • Fact sheet

    Advance care planning and legal requirements: NSW

    Advance Care Planning Australia

    This factsheet for health professionals gives specific information about advance care planning and New South Wales (NSW) law.
  • Fact sheet

    Advance care planning fact sheet for care workers

    Advance Care Planning Australia

    Information about advance care planning for care workers.
  • Fact sheet

    Advance care planning fact sheet for healthcare professionals

    Advance Care Planning Australia

    Information about advance care planning for healthcare professionals.