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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.

"We decided to seek advice about estate planning because we wanted to understand how to efficiently protect our assets and pass them safely to our children and grandchildren. We also wanted to put as much help in place for our family as possible, so as to make things as easy as possible for them when the time comes. We liked Gina’s patient and diligent manner in answering our questions and guiding us to the right solutions. Gina explained everything to us with great clarity, making concepts we were unfamiliar with accessible and clear. We particularly liked the fact that Gina came to see us in our own home without our having to make a special request; this is just the way she works. It was so much easier for us to relax and talk freely in the comfort and privacy of our home. Having put the right estate plan in place we feel that we have ticked a big box. This was something we knew we had to get round to. Now it is done and sorted and we don't have to worry about it anymore. We have also gained a clear understanding of the measures that have been put in place and why they are important. "

Matt & Betty R

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