Advance Personal Plan

An Advance Personal Plan is a legal document that will set out your future health, financial and life choices should you be unable to make decisions for yourself. 

This can be due to age, illness or accident.

It is also known as a living will and will only take effect when you lose decision-making capacity while you are still alive. It does not replace your will.

Advance Personal Planning replaces enduring power of attorney in the Northern Territory (NT).

What you can include

What you include in your plan is your choice. 

It can include decisions about any of the following:

  • your health care
  • whether you appoint more than one decision-maker
  • lifestyle needs such as living arrangements, diet, entertainment and clothing
  • your finances. 

If you make future decisions about your health, medical professionals are legally bound to follow your instructions on treatment.

You can include as many future wishes as you like.

For example, you may wish to only appoint a trusted decision-maker and not make any specific statements about your future health care or lifestyle needs.

If you change your mind about your plan you can add to it, amend it or cancel it whenever you like, as long as you have decision-making capacity.

Appointing a decision-maker

You can appoint a trusted person to be your decision-maker. 

This can be any of the following:

  • your spouse or partner
  • a parent
  • one of your adult children
  • a relative
  • a friend.

You can appoint separate decision-makers for different purposes.

How to make an Advance Personal Plan

To make an Advance Personal Plan you must follow these steps.

Step 1. Fill in the form

Fill in the advance personal plan form (277.4 kb)

You should speak with your family and friends about your choices and seek medical advice regarding specific treatments.

Step 2. Get your plan witnessed

Get your plan witnessed by one of the following:

Step 3. Register your plan

You can choose to register your plan with the Public Trustee to ensure there is a record on your file, although this is not mandatory.

Fill in the application to register and submit it to the Public Trustee.

Step 4. Update your eHealth record

If your plan includes health care, you should include on your eHealth record that you have made an Advance Personal Plan.

If you don’t have an eHealth record, you can register by doing one of the following: 

  • going online at
  • phoning 1800 723 471
  • going to a Medicare centre
  • through assisted registration by a healthcare provider organisation.

Step 5. Register with the Land Titles Office

If you have appointed a decision-maker who can make decisions relating to land, that section of your Advance Personal Plan needs to be registered with the Land Titles Office

Step 6. Store your plan safely

Store your plan somewhere safe, such as with your will, and give a certified copy to your decision-maker.

Last updated: 22 March 2016