Living Wills

Making end-of-life decisions for a loved one is stressful. How do you know if the choice you’re making is what they would have wanted? Alleviate your loved ones from the responsibility of making guesses about your medical preferences should you become unable to express them. Write a living will.

What is a living Will?

A living will -also known as an advanced directive or ADRT- is a legal document that outlines your preferences relating to medical treatment if you were to become ‘incapacitated’ (unable to communicate due to accident or illness). 

What does it include?

A living will focus on the more challenging aspects of care typical in life-threatening situations. It references doctors and hospitals to your wishes regarding life-sustaining treatment, such as resuscitation, ventilation, and certain medications. 

You will need to clarify which treatments or procedures you both accept and refuse in your living will. You must also specify in what circumstances you wish to withdraw treatment, even if it could lead to your death. However, bear in mind that a living will not be used to request euthanasia, as this is an illegal practice in the UK.

What is an advanced statement?

Whilst a living will, or ‘advanced directive’, covers refusals of medical treatment, an ‘advance statement’ includes any other information you feel is important concerning your health or care. This isn’t legally binding; instead, it’s there to help your caregivers provide dignity and make you feel as comfortable as possible whilst receiving care.

An advanced statement allows you to specify where you wish to receive care, i.e., your own home or a care home, dietary requirements, religious beliefs, routine, and who you would like to be informed about your care. You should provide a copy to your GP or health care team.

Why create a living will?

  •  As a legally binding document, your wishes will be honoured by your caregiver or loved ones, offering them peace of mind that they are executing medical decisions that align with your wishes. We recommend that you include them in the process to allow them to understand your reasons for your choices and to avoid any conflicts among family members. 
  • It allows you to address any religious or philosophical beliefs or rituals that could influence your decisions about treatment and procedures.
  • It also authorises you to set out your end-of-life wishes, such as organ donation.

How to make a living will?

Step 1

Providing you have the mental capacity, you can create a living will with any decisions relating to the life-sustaining treatment outlined in writing. These should be signed, witnessed, accompanied by a written statement accepting the possible fatal consequences of any withdrawal of treatment.

Step 2

Once created, you should provide a copy to your next of kin and your medical providers so they know of any decisions and can add them to your medical records. If you have family or friends who will be responsible for overseeing your care, discuss your plans with them. 

Step 3

Lastly, reach out for the help of a professional. Our expert estate planners at Paradigm can help you to make the best decisions to suit your personal needs.

Are you considering appointing a medical Power of Attorney?

Many people choose to create a living will at the same time as other legal documents, such as a medical Power of Attorney. Creating a Lasting Power of Attorney allows you to choose a representative responsible for your care decisions. Your appointed attorney can act on your behalf regarding life-changing choices such as care home placement and ongoing medical treatment.

Can a living will be invalidated?

It is essential to seek professional advice when creating a living will to prevent it from becoming invalid. Factors that can invalidate your decisions include:

  • Being under 18 years of age.
  • Not correctly specifying which treatments or procedures you have refused.
  • The signing of the document not being witnessed.

An inheritance tax specialist can provide tailored advice to help you navigate the complexities of inheritance tax. They can assist in structuring your will, setting up trusts, and making lifetime gifts to reduce the taxable value of your estate. Their expertise ensures that you make the most of available exemptions and reliefs, ultimately protecting more of your wealth for your beneficiaries.

With our continued support, we free you from the burden of worry and provide you with peace of mind that your assets will be inherited by your loved ones when you are no longer here.

At Paradigm Wills and Legal Services, we genuinely care about educating people on the importance of making a lasting power of attorney in Leicester. In an industry often loaded with complex legal jargon and a conveyor-belt mentality, we provide a paradigm shift in how we offer our wills services. We aim to supply fresh ideas, clear and straightforward explanations, and a service tailored specifically to you. With you at the centre, we strive to make the will writing process as transparent as possible.

Contacting us is free. Have a consultation or a home visit with one of our experts and discuss your options with no obligation.

Our team of seasoned legal advisors is always available to offer comprehensive support and expert advice. Whether you're looking to draft a will, establish a trust, navigate the complexities of applying for probate, or arrange for prepaid funeral plans, we've got you covered. Our goal is to simplify these processes for you, ensuring clarity and peace of mind every step of the way.

 

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Feel free to discuss your options first with our team of solicitors and will writers in Leicester. Simply fill out the form, and we will promptly reach out and assist with everything you need to get started.

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