Living Wills

Victoria Motley - Play video
Victoria Motley - Play video

Video length: 42s

Victoria Motley | Solicitor

Elderly Client Services

Hello, I'm Victoria Motley and I'm one of the solicitors in the Elderly Client department. I'm a member of Solicitors for the Elderly and am passionate about helping people get the right advice for them.

We can help you make wills, lasting powers of attorney, we can offer you advice on tax or long term care planning.

We offer more than just a legal document, we can help you get the right advice and make the right decisions for you and your family.

We're also good in a crisis so if you've got a relative who's gone into care and you need access to their finances or help in understanding the care system then we can help.

If you'd like to discuss your situation then please contact us via the enquiry form on our website or telephone us today.

A Living Will is a term used for an Advanced Medical Decision. It is a written statement setting out your wishes in relation to medical treatment should you become terminally ill or incapacitated. You have to be over the age of eighteen and have the required mental capacity to do so.

A Living Will is neither a right to life nor a right to die but a right to choose. An advanced direction can only be used to refuse a treatment and not to ask for a specific treatment. It can not be used to ask for a procedure that is unlawful.

It needs to be a clear statement of both the decision and the treatment to be refused, and also needs to set out the circumstances when it applies. The statement should be as detailed as possible. There will also be a statement that this direction is only to be used if the person making it no longer has mental capacity.

Advance directions now have a legal status under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and Health Care Professionals must follow such an advance direction if it is valid and applicable to the situation. There may be either criminal or civil consequences if a valid Advance Direction is ignored. It is important that your GP or treating Health Practitioner is aware of the existence of your Living Will.

Living Wills are more generally used when there is knowledge of a critical illness. A Living Will can help someone to prepare for the pending treatment of that condition. It is necessary to review your Living Will on a regular basis as treatments are rapidly changing and it is important to ensure your Living Will stays valid.

Health and Welfare Attorneys

Where someone is looking generally at preparing for when they are older and considering putting something in place to cover welfare situations that may arise in the future, then it is appropriate to consider making a Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney to appoint someone to make health and welfare decisions on your behalf should you lose mental capacity.

Situations that may give rise to a need for a Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare include:

  • Where couples are not married or in a registered civil relationship but wish their partner to be the point of contact for welfare decisions
  • Where there is no family
  • Where a non family member is their preferred choice
  • Where there is a mental health issue such as bi-polar that can come and go
  • Where one spouse is well and one spouse is in need of care and there is a dispute between the well spouse and social services
  • Where people want to make an advance directive - you can make a Living Will at the same time.

For more details, please contact one of our Wills, Probate, Tax and Trusts Solicitors.

Elderly Client Services

18 May 2017

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