Making an Advanced Decision for your future.
Wills & Estate Planning > Living Wills
A living will, otherwise known as an Advance Decision, allows you to legally set out your wishes in regards to the medical treatment you wish to receive should you become incapacitated or terminally ill.
Our team understand the sensitivity of these decisions. We ensure that we make the process as clear and stress-free as possible.
Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions about this process.
Why might I need a Living Will?
We can assist in the preparation of a Living Will, giving you peace of mind that your loved ones and medical and care professionals will know your wishes at a time when you may not be able to make decisions yourself, or may not be able to communicate them. In normal circumstances, you would expect to discuss treatment options with your doctor, before making a decision. However, a time may come either on a permanent or a temporary basis, when you are unable to make or communicate, a decision about medical treatment at the relevant time. For example, you may be unconscious after suffering a stroke or being involved in an accident, or you may be suffering from dementia.
What can I include in my Living Will?
A Living Will (also known as an Advance Decision to Refuse Treatment) allows you to set out instructions for your future healthcare so far as life-sustaining treatment is concerned. It allows you explain which medical treatments you don’t wish to receive if a time comes when you lack mental capacity and can no longer make such a decision, or if you are no longer able to communicate your wishes. You could use a Living Will to let your healthcare professionals know that you don’t wish to be resuscitated in certain circumstances, or if you wish for life-sustaining treatment to be withdrawn at a certain point. A Living Will can also specify any type of treatment that you don’t wish to receive, for example, a blood transfusion.
What is an Advanced Statement of Wishes?
Another type of document we can help with is an Advance Statement of Wishes, which allows you to explain your likes and dislikes and anything that’s important to you in order to be comfortable. This isn’t a legally binding document, but it should be taken into consideration by all those involved in your care, such as medical professionals and carers. You might like to include information on where ideally you’d like to be cared for, and who you’d like to be consulted about your care as well as everyday matters such as what foods you prefer and what clothes you like to wear.
A Living Will is legally binding and must be respected, and should be reviewed regularly. We can assist in preparing and reviewing such a document. The rules about how a Living Will and a Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Care interact can be complicated, and we can also advise in relation to this. Please contact our office for further information.
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