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Advance Care Planning

Taking Control of Your Own Body

Advance Directive, or Living Will

Staying in control of your life choices

Every adult with mental capacity has the right to consent to, or refuse, medical treatment. But if you are unconscious or otherwise lose the ability to speak or think for yourself, you potentially lose that right. And your family don’t automatically have the right to speak up for you, no matter how clearly you have explained you wishes to them. This means that medical professionals can decide what’s in your “best interests”, without taking your wishes into account.

The solution is to act, while you are fit and well, to write down your wishes in a formal document, an Advance Directive or Living Will.

In an Advance Directive, you specify what treatment you will and will not consent to if ever you are too unwell to communicate for yourself.

Many people specify in their Advance Directives that: -

  • They want their dignity to be preserved.
  • They do not want treatment designed solely to keep them alive, with no other benefits.
  • The want to be keep comfortable and pain free.
  • They want to receive pain relief even if doing so risks shortening their life.

Your Advance Directive can be used by your family and friends as clear evidence of your wishes, and must be taken into account by medical professionals when deciding what to do for you.

It is often used alongside a Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare, to give clear instructions about your preferences as to life sustaining treatment, so that your Attorneys are not burdened with trying to guess what your wishes would be if they are ever faced with difficult decisions concerning your care at the end of your life.

Making an Advance Directive costs £150 for a single person and £225 for a couple. Our Testamentary, Intermediate and Comprehensive Estate Plans also include Advance Directives.

"I am a retired divorcee with a complicated family situation. Allowing my estate to be distributed in line with to the intestacy rules when I am gone would not have been a fair reflection of my wishes, so I knew it was vital that I make a will. I wanted to ensure that particular members of my family were provided for. I also have a child who is self-employed, and I was worried about providing for her in case her business failed and her inheritance was seized by the Insolvency Service. Will Written have created an estate plan for me that places my assets into a trust when I am gone, so that the trustees can manage my assets and keep them in the family."

John M

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