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Living Wills & Advance Directives

With the introduction of Lasting Powers of Attorney, Living Wills or Advance Directives are not so widely used.  However, there are many situations where these should be considered alongside the Will or LPA, and they relate to very different sets of circumstances.

A Living Will is a document that sets out the medical treatment you would or would not wish to receive, should a decision need to be taken at a time when you are unable to state your wishes for yourself, often due to being rendered unconscious by an accident or from paralysis resulting from stroke (although even limited communication such as eye movement can be sufficient to consent to medical treatment).

The Living Will could set out any firmly held beliefs that should always be adhered to, for example if you would never consent to a blood transfusion.  There may be other specific scenarios that you hold firm views on, such as resuscitation notwithstanding that, medically, this would be the route otherwise taken by the medical profession.  It can help your relatives come to terms with difficult decisions if, for example, they are asked for permission to turn off a life support machine.  To have some indication of your wishes can be a great comfort.

If you would like to discuss Advance Directives and Living Wills with our specialist Wills and Probate team please contact us today to arrange a free 30 minute consultation.

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