Tuesday 29 March 2016

Are you thinking of making a living will?

What is a living will?

A living will (sometimes known as an advance directive) is a written statement detailing your wishes regarding health care and how you wish to be treated if you were to become seriously ill. Living wills come into force when you are no longer able to communicate your own choices and can be useful if you have not made a power of attorney. Living wills are legally binding under the Mental Capacity Act 2005. This means that as long as a living will is valid and applicable then any refusal to accept treatment set out within it is legally binding in England and Wales.

Please note that a living will is not the same as euthanasia, but a request in advance to doctors not to give certain life-sustaining treatments. 

Who can make a living will? 

Anyone who is aged 18 years or over and has the mental capacity to do so.

Does a living will need to be signed and witnessed?

If you are choosing to refuse life-sustaining treatment then this must be done in writing and both you and at least one witness must sign it.

Advantages of a having a living will:

·        A living will allows you to reject certain medical treatment
·        A living will allows doctors to know what medical treatment you want and therefore they are more likely to give appropriate treatment
·        Living wills help medical professionals in taking difficult decisions
·        Your family and friends will not have to make the difficult decisions

It is essential that living wills are written correctly to ensure they comply with legal requirements in order for them to be valid and acted upon should the need arise.

An alternative to making a living will is to make a health and welfare lasting power of attorney. For more information please do not hesitate to contact us on 01992 422128. 

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Tel: 01992 422 128

Email: info@gardenhousesolicitors.co.uk
The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.

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