What is an Advance Decision (Living Will)? 
An Advance Decision allows you to express your wishes to refuse medical treatment in the future. It is sometimes referred to as a Living Will. 
An Advance Decision would become relevant if there came a time when you were unable to make or communicate your own decisions. 
It allows you to refuse treatment, even if this might lead to your death. An Advance Decision is legally binding which means that those caring for you must follow your instructions. However, it will only be used if you lose the capacity to make or communicate decisions about your treatment. 
This legal document should not be confused with Lasting Powers of Attorney in particular the LPA which is called “Health and Welfare”. It does not give someone else power to make other medical decision on your behalf, for that you will need to put in place a Lasting Power of Attorney. 
You should think carefully about whether there are any treatments you would not want to receive in certain situations. It is advisable to discuss your Advance Decision with a healthcare professional who knows your medical history and the risks and benefits of refusing certain treatments. You may also want to discuss it with your family and friends so that they understand your wishes. 
Refusing life sustaining treatment may lead to your death, so there are a lot of factors that should be taken into account before creating an Advance Decision. 
You may wish to outline your wishes for refusing medical treatment if you become terminally ill, or if you lose the capacity to make decisions for yourself. 
What is an Advance Statement? 
An Advance Statement of wishes explains your likes and dislikes and anything that is important to you to be comfortable. An Advance Statement should be considered by all those involved with your care. Unlike an advance decision, it is not legally binding! 
The rules about how an Advance Decision and Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare interact, can be complicated. It is best to seek legal advice about setting up an advance decision and or Lasting Powers of Attorney (Heath and Welfare and Financial – two separate documents). 
For a free financial and personal review of your Estate contact Caroline J Maguire, Financial and Trust Consultant on 07950 622375 or via email at caroline@hdconsultants.net 
Tagged as: Estate Planning, Wills
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