Your preferred office location:
  1. Home
  2. /
  3. Author
  4. /
  5. Janene Bon
  6. /
  7. Voluntary Assisted Dying (VAD) laws and how do they impact my Advanced Health Directive, my Enduring Power of Guardianship and my Will?
6 Aug 2021

Wills, Estate and Succession Planning Special Counsel, Janene Bon, and Lawyer, Jordan Schweitzer, outline the Voluntary Assisted Dying (VAD) laws that have come into effect in Western Australia and if they will impact Advanced Health Directives, Enduring Powers of Guardianship and Wills.

VAD Laws

The Voluntary Assisted Dying Act 2019 (WA) (VAD Act) came into effect in Western Australia on 1 July 2021. Euthanasia and suicide are not new concepts and how they are dealt with in the law is well known.  However, they are different to Voluntary Assisted Dying (VAD) and the impact and treatment of VAD in related areas of law are not so well known, given this is such new legislation.

The VAD Act provides people in Western Australia who are diagnosed with a terminal illness, disease or medical condition that will likely cause death within 6 to 12 months, depending on the condition, or who are experiencing intolerable suffering, to legally end their lives.

Now that the VAD Act is being used in WA, how does the VAD Act impact a person’s Enduring Power of Guardianship (EPG) and Advanced Health Directive (AHD)? Both of these documents deal with consent to future medical treatment when a person is not able to provide their consent.  Does VAD effect a person’s Will or estate?  Some questions that have been asked are:

  • Can I consent to VAD in my AHD?
  • Can I give my guardian the power to seek VAD on my behalf by my EPG when I can no longer take that action?
  • Can my Will be invalidated if I access VAD?

VAD, EPGs, and AHDs

These questions have been contemplated by the drafters of the VAD Act. Section 3B of the Guardianship and Administration Act 1990 (WA) (G & A Act) stipulates that nothing in that Act authorises the making of a treatment decision in an AHD or otherwise in relation to VAD.

Additionally, a person must have what is known under the VAD Act as “decision-making capacity” at the time they apply for VAD which means they must have the capacity to:

  • Understand the information or advice regarding VAD;
  • Understand the matters involved in, and effect of, VAD;
  • Weigh up the above matters in the course of their decision; and
  • Communicate that decision.

As a person’s EPG and AHD only come into effect after a person loses their capacity to make, or consent to treatment decisions themselves, they also effectively lose access to VAD under the VAD Act if they have lost this capacity. It is also important to note that:

  • VAD is not included in the definition of medical “treatment” for the purposes of the EPG and AHD provisions under the G & A Act;
  • A person cannot give consent to VAD that may occur after that person has lost the capacity to apply for VAD in the future; and
  • Consent to VAD must be given by the person while they have the legal capacity to give such consent and in accordance with the provisions of the VAD Act.

Can my Will be invalidated if I use VAD?

The law relating to the validity of a Will has not been changed by the VAD Act.  The way in which a person dies does not affect the validity of their Will.  The Will only takes effect after a person’s death, regardless of the cause. The relevant considerations in determining whether a Will is valid are:

  • Whether the formal requirements of making a Will have been satisfied (e.g. has the Will has been signed and witnessed correctly); and
  • Whether the capacity requirements have been met (i.e. did the person have the required capacity to make or amend their Will).

If a person has accessed VAD, where capacity is a requirement, then it is arguable they should also have the necessary capacity to make their Will if made at around the time they commenced the VAD process.


The VAD Act provides people in Western Australia with the ability to legally end their lives if they comply with the requirements of the Act.  VAD cannot be consented to by a guardian acting under an EPG or contemplated by an AHD. The Will of a person who ends their life by VAD will not be invalidated or affected by this.

The EPG and AHD are documents that cover different situations to the VAD Act. Although you cannot consent to, or provide authority for another person to arrange VAD on your behalf in an AHD or EPG, these documents are still necessary to appoint someone to make medical treatment decisions for a person in the event of their incapacity or to set out what medical treatment is consented to or not consented to in the event of a person’s incapacity.

Our team is highly skilled and experienced in advising on all aspects of Wills, Estate, and Succession Planning. Contact us today if you need advice or representation in this area.  

*This is general information only, and does not constitute specific legal advice. Please consult one of our experienced Legal Team for specific advice relevant to your situation.

Supporting Western Australians for more than 100 years

"Always fast and thorough service. Thank you"

Sitka Pil

"My circumstances at the time I made contact with HHG were dire following my argument being rejected by two no win no fee firms. Following my initial meeting with HHG's employment law team I was left feeling extremely positive by the response and concern shown by HHG in regards to their support of my argument along with their preparedness to pursue an outcome on my behalf.

I accept the fact that nobody really wins in these cases (mental health/ workplace) however the end result was what would be considered most favourable and far in excess of what would have been achieved had I not sought the advice from HHG.

I have no hesitation in recommending HHG to anyone caught up in the messy circumstances I found myself in at the time.

Great advice and five-star commitment to their client!!"

Nathan Lynch

"Thank you for such great assistance with the transaction of Flying Domestics on behalf of Lorna Good. It has been such a pleasure to work with the HHG Legal Group and I look forward to working with you in the future."

Jim Goodwin

"Simon Creek and his team were at all times empathic, professional and confident.  My matter needed to be addressed within a pressing time frame, and their availability at short notice and contact after hours was much appreciated.  It caused me considerable stress, but having such a thoroughly reliable and competent team to call on helped me to feel in control. Although I hope not to need their services again in future, I would be confident in doing so!"

Dr Lana Bell

"A good outcome is what we can expect.  A great outcome is a sign of a company which does the very best for their clients. A very big thank you to Daniel Morris for showing empathy towards my small and much needed legal action.

To HHG Legal Group, thank you for a great outcome.  I would recommend your company to anyone seeking legal services."

Jan Atkinson

"Your support this morning was amazingly kind, not to mention your totally reassuring competence, knowledge and wisdom that you used on my behalf.  It was extremely reassuring to have your knowledgeable support, and I particularly appreciated your real and obvious kindness to me. It means so much at a very difficult time. I'm so grateful to you."

Family Law Client

"Janene was very professional and we established a good rapport quickly. The subject of death and wills can be quite confronting to deal with, however, Janene's approach was soft and accommodating."

Lynette Livesey

"A big thank you to HHG for their professional service, continued support, and wide range of legal knowledge. Our clients have given us nothing but kind words regarding HHG Legal Group and so we have no hesitation in referring and recommending Simon Creek and HHG Legal Group for their outstanding services and legal expertise."

Nigel Plowman, Director at Mckinley Plowman & Associates

"Simon is a friendly and practical legal advisor. I have received great feedback from the clients I have referred to him and his team at HHG Legal Group."

Richard Beal, Director at BDO

"Over the last few years, I have been impressed by Simon’s legal ability, management skills, entrepreneurial spirit, personal integrity and people skills. He appears to be that rare breed of lawyer – both knowledgeable and commercial."

Michael Malone, Founder of iiNet

"Our family has been a client of HHG Legal Group over many years.  Business has included drawing up of wills for three generations and preparing of probate for my father in law. I would have no hesitation in recommending HHG Legal Group to anyone requiring such services."

Bernice Climie

"You should be congratulated for the manner in which your staff address clients and we found our dealings with your company, once again a very pleasant experience and we would like to truly thank you for your efforts."

Steve Harvey and Jane Powell

"HHG Legal were absolutely fantastic. Extremely responsive and brought calm to our chaotic family situation through their knowledge and caring attitude. Extremely professional from our very first contact with them and they expertly guided our family though the required legal process over almost a 12 month period."

Amanda Williamson

"Fantastic team! They really care about their client. Tim Colcutt is a 'go that extra mile' guy who gives his client his all. I can't recommend HHG and Tim enough."

Kerry Samson

"I had a fantastic lawyer in Matthew Lilly. He helped me out a great deal with good, sound advice in a friendly, professional manner. First class, thanks Matthew"

Graeme Hammond

"Marine Plant Systems has been working with HHG Legal Group for a few years now and they continually provide first-class service. Their professional advice has been invaluable to our company."

Carolin Grimm - Marine Plant Systems

"We were kept up to date at all times. Pricing was always updated over the time period so we remained "in budget". Personal access to someone whenever I had questions. All in all a great experience without too much fuss."

Rosslyn Tasker - COO Altusq Pty Ltd

"Good service you can count on."

Miles Lee

"HHG Legal Group has provided outstanding support as I have taken the journey of buying a business, their professionalism is beyond reproach. Their assistance throughout the Due Diligence process has been invaluable, I would fully recommend them."

Mark Armitage

"Very friendly and efficient service - what a pleasure working with Matthew."

Jacques Taylor

"I highly recommend Daniel from HHG Lawyer in Mandurah. When dealing with a complicated legal property matter recently I was extremely impressed by Daniel's honesty and integrity and the legal advice I received. I am very happy with the service from HHG Legal."

Tony Walker

"Lisa, thank you so much for representing me in court, honestly, I would not have had the outcome I got without you. Once again, Thank you so much."


"Matthew Lilly was excellent in processing our project. He achieved the excellent result that we required on our project.

We would give Matthew a 5 star rating.

We will definitely commission Matthew for any further projects if we have the need."


"I have had the pleasure of being represented by Ms Lisa Riley. Lisa helped me in December 2020 when I was charged. Lisa was extremely supportive, reassuring, and preserved with her investigation of the laws and was able to save me from a terrible outcome. Another incident occurred in August 2021 in which I sought Lisa’s help. Lisa preserved and was very patient with me. This only got resolved this year. When she advised me that she was leaving her old firm, I insisted that she remain my lawyer, as I had the utmost faith in her. Hence I moved over to HHG. Lisa took no shortcuts in my defence and continued to preserve for the toxicology report that ultimately saved me. She kept me up-to-date with the progress and provided support. Having someone as understanding as Lisa was a huge gift, to me and my family. You have gained a huge asset in Lisa joining your firm.

Thank you, Lisa, forever grateful for your work, and if ever needed, I will be sure to refer to you"


"We can highly recommend HHG Legal Group and particularly Mr Blair Campbell (Special Counsel / Dispute Resolution)

Blair worked with us as we navigated a very difficult third party dispute.

Blair’s expertise, wisdom, and the way he guided us in a very measured and calm manner gave us great encouragement and comfort. Blair helped us to focus on what we needed to and to trust the process.

Blair was always responsive to us, he always got back to us very promptly to answer our questions and to help us to step through some really hard days.

We are very grateful for Blair’s expertise and wisdom along with his empathy and care, this truly made the difference for us."

Wayne and Janice Belcher

Preferred office location:

Please select your nearest office location so we can show you the most relevant information.