Wills, trusts and probate solicitors
Advance Directive Lawyers
An Advance Decision or ‘living will’ is a statement you can make during your lifetime about the medical treatment you may or may not wish to receive under certain medical circumstances.
What is an ‘advance directive’?
An advance directive, also commonly known as an ‘advance decision’, would typically come into effect during your lifetime at the point where you lack the capacity to make such decisions for yourself. For this reason, they are extremely sensitive and you should always speak to your solicitor for expert advice before establishing an Advance Decision, or activating one.
At Morrisons Solicitors, our team can help you with all aspects of Advance Decisions, and Health and Welfare and Lasting Powers of Attorney, to ensure that your wishes are taken into consideration when you are no longer able to express them for yourself.
While it is possible for Advance Decisions to take the form of oral statements, this can result in precisely the ambiguity that such a statement is intended to avoid, so it is advisable to have a written Advance Decision to ensure clarity in this respect. If the Advance Decision is to include the refusal of life-sustaining treatment, it must always be in writing and executed appropriately.
It is also possible to make a Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) instead of or in addition to an Advance Decision depending upon your circumstances and requirements. It allows you to appoint a friend or relative to make decisions relating to your health and welfare in the event of future mental incapacity. In contrast to an Advance Decision, which is essentially a written record of your instructions, an LPA enables you to delegate responsibility to your chosen Attorney(s) to make decisions for you having regard for your instructions and preferences. While it is possible to create such documents without legal advice it is always advisable to ensure that the statements you make, and the terms under which they would be activated, are clear and unambiguous, and this usually requires legal advice.
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