make-health-decisions-with-a-living-will

Make health decisions with a Living Will

A ‘Living Will’ may sound like a contradiction in terms.

After all, a Will is a legal document that is only implemented after your passing to determine how your estate will be shared out.

But a Living Will is a separate document you can now make to ensure that others, including medical professionals, know your wishes about your health and care.

This can then be used if a time comes where you are no longer able to make or communicate your decisions due to an illness or condition.

It can be divided into two categories, Advance Statement or Advance Decision.

Who can make a Living Will?

Anyone over the age 18 who is deemed to have the mental capacity to make decisions over their future care.

Why should I make one?

It could be you have strong views about a particular situation that could arise in the future due to your religion or beliefs – such as having a blood transfusion.

Or maybe you have been diagnosed in the early stages of a disease or disability, which may mean at some stage you may not be able to directly make decisions yourself during your treatment

Should I speak to my doctor?

Yes, they can help you understand the nature of your illness, how it might progress and the consequences of refusing or choosing a particular treatment. It is also something you should discuss with close friends and family so they know your views.

What is an Advance Statement?

It provides details of the level of treatment you want, such as whether you want to be cared for at home or in a hospice, and the sort of care you would like to receive.

An Advance Statement is not legally binding, but it should be respected by healthcare professionals.

What is an Advance Decision?

This is the path you should take if you want to specify you wish to refuse certain types of treatment or care in the future if you are unable to communicate your wishes. This could include the use of CPR, life support or antibiotics.

Should I review my Advance Decisions?

Yes, you should check it continues to reflect your views on a regular basis, while you still have the mental capacity to do so. Bear in mind there could be new or improved treatments available which could also change your decision

Is there anything I can’t do in a Living Will?

You can’t nominate someone else to make decisions on your behalf. That can be done by a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA). You also cannot request a specific treatment or refuse basic treatment and food and water.

What if I develop another condition?

A Living Will only applies to the circumstances that are included in the document. If these change, you may want to think about altering your Living Will. Otherwise if will be up to the health professionals treating you to make the decisions about your treatment with regards to the new issues.

Can I change my mind?

You can always cancel a Living Will, as long as you go through the appropriate process.

If you want to know more about Living Wills or wish to draw up a document, why not contact David at Will Makers of the Midlands on 01952 305105 or 07786 548025 or email enquiries@willmakersofthemidlands.co.uk

Remember, if you don’t have a Will, the authorities will decide how and who should receive your assets according to rules called the ‘Laws of Intestacy’.

Simply call us on 01952 305 105 for more information or to arrange a convenient time to meet one of our consultants.

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WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY ABOUT US

I have known David for over ten years and cannot recommend him too highly.

He has written several Wills for me and my family and also Powers of Attorney.

I have recently had my Will written by David. He came to our house and gave us a first class service, he was very helpful and guided us through the process. The after care is also excellent, you are given wallet sized cards which detail your Will and where it is stored, if legislation changes updates to the Will are completely automatic reflecting these changes. I would highly recommend David to any of my friends or colleagues.”

With two young children our major concern was to ensure that we implemented the right provisions for their future care and financial well being. The way that you structured our meeting and the advice that you provided, has left the pair of us feeling incredibly comfortable. We now have a legal document that would ensure our aims have been met. We couldn’t recommend David highly enough.

I have known David for some time and find him to be extremely knowledgeable and professional.

Friends and family of mine have used David’s services and the feedback has always been very positive.

Peter Clowes

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Karen Babington

I recently had to deal with a difficult situation getting my brother to resolve his Will and powers of attorney due to his illness – with various complications from previous marriages and many emotional barriers to clear solution of his wishes. His own solicitor had made a dreadful attempt at sorting things out and drafted a Will saying the exact opposite to the wishes I had been asked to deliver as executor. Having used David, previously, for my own Will, I called on him to deal with my brother’s affairs in Sussex. David could not have been more helpful, knowledgeable and swift to sort all this out, including travelling to my brother’s home to deal with matters. I don’t think I can recommend David highly enough – he has the ability to deal with what could be distressing and morbid in a most positive and compassionate manner.

Emma Davies

I recently had to deal with a difficult situation getting my brother to resolve his Will and powers of attorney due to his illness – with various complications from previous marriages and many emotional barriers to clear solution of his wishes. His own solicitor had made a dreadful attempt at sorting things out and drafted a Will saying the exact opposite to the wishes I had been asked to deliver as executor. Having used David, previously, for my own Will, I called on him to deal with my brother’s affairs in Sussex. David could not have been more helpful, knowledgeable and swift to sort all this out, including travelling to my brother’s home to deal with matters. I don’t think I can recommend David highly enough – he has the ability to deal with what could be distressing and morbid in a most positive and compassionate manner.

Emma Davies