Comparison table: advance care planning documents

It can be confusing and difficult to understand the differences between advance care planning documents used in Queensland. This table has been developed to help you understand the difference between each type of document, and assist you to decide which one is right for you and your circumstances.

Remember, completing advance care planning document is entirely voluntary. You can complete none, or all of the documents in this table.

Criteria Advance health directive Enduring power of attorney Statement of ChoicesWill
  • Legal document
  • Legal document
  • Statement of your health choices/wishes
  • Legal document
  • Directs substitute decision-maker/s and doctors about your wishes and preferences for medical treatments
  • Used to direct management plan in specific health circumstances
  • Option to appoint substitute decision maker/s for health matters
  • Appoints substitute decision-maker/s for health and/or financial matters
  • Supports advance care planning conversations
  • Used to guide care management plan
  • States what you want to happen with your money and other assets (your estate) when you pass away
Use of documents
  • Used across Queensland
  • Is activated when adult has impaired capacity for decision-making about health matters
  • Choices documented in an advance health directive will override an enduring power of attorney and Statement of Choices
  • Used across Queensland
  • Used when adult has impaired capacity
  • Used to nominate a substitute decision-maker/s who has power to make decisions about personal (health)/financial matters
  • Does not override advanced health directive
  • Used in some Queensland Health facilities, residential aged care facilities and general practice
  • Used to guide medical and personal care management plan
  • Valid across Australia
  • Used after an adult has passed away
  • Completed by adult with capacity
  • Completed by adult with capacity
  • Completed by adult with capacity; OR
  • Completed by the substitute decision-maker/ for an adult without capacity
  • Completed by adult with capacity
  • Signed by adult, and
  • Must be signed by doctor, and
  • Must be witnessed by justice of the peace / commissioner for declarations
  • Signed by adult, and
  • Signed by substitute decision-maker/s accepting role, and
  • Must be witnessed by justice of the peace / commissioner for declarations
  • Signed by adult and/or substitute decision-maker, and a healthcare professional (preferably doctor)
  • Signed by adult, and
  • Witnessed by 2 people who are not beneficiaries
Read more Advance health directiveEnduring power of attorneyStatement of ChoicesWills

Find all advance health directive and enduring power of attorney forms.


The information provided on these pages is general in nature and is not intended as legal advice. Advance care planning scenarios will often be complex—you need to consider individual circumstances, and sometimes the level of detail and extra information required will mean you need to seek more advice. If you are in any doubt contact the Office of the Public Guardian, or seek legal advice.