What is a living Will?

Living Wills are known by different names, including advance decisions, advance directives, or ADRTs (Advance Decision to Refuse Treatment).

Living Wills are legal documents that inform medical professionals what treatments or procedures a person does or doesn’t want if they are unable to communicate their wishes themselves or don’t have the mental capacity to make the decision at the time. A living Will may be referred to if a person suffers a stroke or develops severe dementia, for example.

Suppose there are specific treatments you don’t want to receive. In that case, you should be very clear about these, especially if you don’t want to receive those treatments under certain circumstances or the treatments could potentially be life-sustaining.

A living Will is legally binding. It is up to you who sees a copy of your living Will, but it is a good idea to tell your next of kin, healthcare professionals, or carers about your wishes in advance. You should make sure these are clearly recorded in writing, signed, and witnessed. You can also request that a copy of your living Will is kept with your medical records.

As well as a living Will, you can also put in place an ‘advance statement’ which outlines who you would like to be consulted about your care in the event you can’t communicate or make your own decisions. This isn’t legally binding in the same way that giving someone Lasting Powers of Attorney would be, but it should be taken into consideration.

Even though their names are similar, living Wills and Wills are different.

Capital Life can offer advice around Wills, inheritance planning, and other later life products designed to protect your loved ones if the worst does happen. Contact their team of experts today to find out how they can help or fill in this form and one of our experienced advisors will call you back at a time to suit you.