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Advance Decisions (Living Wills)
If you have determined that you would like to make a living will, or an ‘advance decision’ in relation to your medical treatment and future wellbeing, then JMW's team of experienced solicitors can help you every step of the way throughout this legal process.
An advance decision sets out the types of medical treatment you would refuse should you become unable to communicate a decision about your wellbeing in the future. This could include procedures like a blood transfusion or an amputation. Similarly, individuals who have dementia or a terminal illness may want to specify which types of treatment they would not want to receive.
This legal agreement has the same effect as a refusal of treatment by a person who is of sound mind. They need to be carefully worded to ensure your wishes will be followed in the future when you cannot communicate them yourself.
Our specialist team of lawyers is highly experienced in this area of law, and can assist you in drawing up an advanced decision that matches your needs and situation to ensure your wishes regarding your treatment are met.
How JMW Can Help
We have helped our clients with a broad range of circumstances to write an advanced decision to confirm the treatments they want to refuse and ensure their wishes are met should they be needed. JMW has considerable experience acting for local hospices and cancer support charities to assist their service users in documenting their wishes as to medical treatment.
Our expert lawyers are renowned for their professionalism, knowledge and expertise and their experience in this area means we will provide you with objective, specialist advice that is tailored to your specific circumstances.
How Do I Make a Living Will?
An advance decision must meet the following criteria:
- The person involved must be over 18, and have the mental capacity to make the decision
- A decision regarding which type of treatment would be refused must be specified
- The circumstances in which the refusal would be made must also be decided
- It must be agreed that decision would still stand, even if your life was at risk
- The decision must not have been changed since it was finalised
- It must be in writing and signed in the presence of a witness
- The individual involved must not have been pressured, influenced or suffered harassment from an external party when making the decision
Lasting Power of Attorney
If you’re not sure if a living will is right for you at this point in time, you may wish to consider appointing an attorney pursuant to a lasting power of attorney (LPA). The simple difference between a living will and an LPA is that whilst a living will, dictates the specific types of medical treatment you do not want, an LPA grants a trusted individual with the legal power to make these kinds of decisions on your behalf in case you lose the mental capacity to do so yourself.