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A Living Will, also known as an Advance Decision, is a legal document that can be put in place to inform medical professionals and care providers what your wishes are in case you lose the capacity to make informed decisions yourself.
We never know what life has in store for us, which is why it is sensible to plan for every possible eventuality. While it may be difficult to plan for a potential future where you cannot look after your own wellbeing, it will ensure you still have full control over whether you consent or refuse certain treatments, including decisions over life-sustaining treatment. It also means your loved ones will be saved from having to make difficult decisions on your behalf.
At Glanvilles, our dedicated team of Wills, Trusts and Probate solicitors can work alongside you to put a Living Will in place, which clearly sets out your medical treatment wishes. We have a wealth of experience with Living Wills and are well placed to offer sensitive and carefully tailored advice that is well suited to your circumstances.
We can carefully talk you through your options, which may include:
At Glanvilles, our experienced Living Wills solicitors can support you in considering every possible medical treatment and the potential consequences of said treatments, using this information to carefully draw up your Advance Decision on your behalf. We have years of practical experience with these matters, which we use to help you make informed decisions about what is best for you and your loved ones.
We appreciate that these are difficult decisions that carry significant implications either way. That is why our team approach these cases with the utmost sensitivity and respect, ensuring that you make a decision you are fully comfortable with.
Circumstances are likely to change over time, and, as such, we regularly help individuals to update any Advance Decisions they have previously made so that their wishes are accurately reflected.
As with so many other lifetime planning matters, such as simply making a Will, many people uphold the misconception that you should only make a Living Will if you are elderly or you are ill. That could not be further from the truth.
Anyone of any age could benefit from making an Advance Decision, as there is always a small chance that a sudden accident could leave you with the inability to make decisions for yourself.
Some reasons you may want to make a Living Will may include if:
When it comes to making a Living Will, you should think very carefully about what you would and would not like to include when it comes to the potential treatments you receive.
A Living Will could include:
In the UK, you cannot ask health professionals to end your life. This is illegal. You can specify when you would like life-sustaining treatment to be withdrawn or withheld.
For a Living Will or Advance Decision to be legally valid, it must fulfil certain legal requirements. Our Living Will solicitors can work to fulfil these requirements and help you set out your wishes in a written document so it can be provided to whoever needs it.
The Living Will must set out what medical treatment you consent to, be signed and dated in the presence of a witness, be signed by said witness and be sent to your GP and any other care providers.
Our Living Wills solicitors offer a professional, caring service designed to make the process of creating an Advance Decision as straightforward and stress-free as possible, giving you peace of mind that your wishes will be adhered to if the time comes when you do not have the capacity to make your own decisions.
We will talk you through all the relevant issues and your options in plain English, without any legal jargon, and are committed to making our service as accessible as possible. We are more than happy to visit you in your home, hospital or nursing home where required.
Alongside our own legal expertise, we also have strong connections with a range of other professional advisors, so can help to ensure all of the relevant issues are considered and accounted for, such as paying for specific medical treatment where required.
We are accredited members of the Law Society's Wills and Inheritance Quality Scheme (WIQS). Our team includes members of the Probate Section of the Law Society and the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners, reflecting our particular expertise in this area of the law.
As members of STEP, we adhere to the STEP Code for Will Preparation in England & Wales. Please visit step.org/step-will-code to find out more about the code.
Need help creating a Living Will or Advance Decision? Our highly experienced Wills solicitors are here for you.