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End of Life Planning

End of life planning

In this section: Financial & Legal information | Conversations about the end of lifeMaking a willMaking an advance personal plan | End of life choices/ assisted dying legislation

Financial and Legal Information for Senior Territorians (click to download) – includes information on making a will, advance personal plans, protecting your personal information, legal advice, your rights at retirement and protecting yourself from elder abuse.


Conversations about the end of life

Research found that while 8 in 10 Australians think it’s important to talk about their end-of-life wishes, only one in four have actually had the conversation. 

Resources / sources:

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Making a will

Making a will is the only way to make sure your money, property and personal belongings to the people you want to receive them. In the Northern Territory, the Public Trustee may be able to assist you with making a will (more).

Comprehensive information is available on the NTG website, nt.gov.au/law/bdm/make-a-will

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Making an advance personal plan

Also known as a living will, an advance personal plan will only take effect when you lose decision-making capacity while you are still alive. It does not replace your will (more). It is a legal document that will set out your future health, financial and life choices should you be unable to make decisions for yourself.

Further information is available on the advance personal plan form and on the NTG website, nt.gov.au/law/rights/advance-personal-plan

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End of life choices/ assisted dying legislation

COTA NT has launched a Petition to Federal Government to Repeal Section 50A of the Northern Territory (Self Government) Act 1978 to allow the NT to enact laws dealing with voluntary assisted dying.

If you wish to read more about the Petition and find out how you can support it, visit cotant.org.au/petition.


Article: The NT pioneered voluntary euthanasia before the law was overruled. Now there is a campaign to restore it

Includes comment from Federal Labor Member for Solomon, Luke Gosling, NT Country Liberal Party Senator Sam McMahon and former chief minister Marshall Perron. Mr Perron said as other states legislated assisted dying, it became more “absurd” that the Northern Territory — the pioneer of assisted dying laws in Australia — was denied the right to decide for itself about the issue. Source: ABC News January 2021


Seniors Want End of Life Choices – COTA NT Media release 22 June 2020

[Extract] Long-term Territorians may recall that in 1995 the NT Parliament passed the Rights of the Terminally Ill Act 1995 (NT), which legalised euthanasia in the Northern Territory of Australia… COTA NT has surveyed Territory seniors twice on this important topic. Both times, the response has been that seniors want assisted dying legislation, especially for the terminally ill, to be introduced in the Northern Territory. This was also part of COTA NT’s 2020 election submission…

“It is not a comfortable subject for a lot of people, and can become very emotive,” says COTA NT CEO, Sue Shearer. “However, it is about choice and dignity for any person who chooses to end their life. We realise that palliative care plays an important role in the end of life, but the choice to say goodbye and make decisions for yourself is an important one. If that choice is a decision to end life, why should this choice be taken away from the individual? It should come down to personal choice for Territorians. We urge the current and future governments to think hard on this issue and give the choice back to Territorians.”

Further Information 

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More information about end of life planning is available to COTA NT members in the White Papers section of the Members only pages.

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