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Australians will be encouraged to make their future health care preferences known, regardless of their age or health status, during National Advance Care Planning Week from April 1-5.

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In Adelaide, Centennial Park is hosting a free seminar with legal experts Julie Height and Karina Huddleston from DBH Lawyers to equip people with information about wills and estates, advance care directives and nominating powers of attorney.

National Advance Care Planning Week is an annual initiative by Advance Care Planning Australia that challenges people to start conversations with loved ones about what living well means to them and to consider who they would want to speak for them if they were too sick to speak for themselves.

Ms Height said it was surprising how many people did not have their estate matters in order.

“Having a power of attorney and advance care directive in place takes some of the burden away from your loved ones, knowing that you have provided them with a direction of your wants and wishes during your impaired, late and end stages of life,” she said.

“Not having your estate documents in order often leads to increased time and costs in administering a deceased estate and more importantly, may result in a distribution of assets in a manner that may not accord with your wishes.   During your lifetime, it may result in the Public Trustee taking control of your financial and legal affairs if you are deemed incapable of doing so.

“Whether you’re young or old, making a will is one of the most important things you’ll ever do. Everybody should have a will, even if their assets are limited, a will appoints somebody that you like, know and trust to administer your estate and deal with your affairs upon your death.”

The free seminar at Centennial Park will include time to ask questions. It will be held on April 3 at 10am to 11.30am, with morning tea provided.

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