What is a living will?
A living will, also known as an advance directive, is a legal document by which a person can make known their wishes regarding life-prolonging medical treatments. It is an important document as it makes sure your family and your doctor are aware of your wishes about certain medical treatment if you are no longer able to speak for yourself.
Why do I need a living will?
- If you have particularly strong feelings about medical treatment that you would or would not like to receive, in case you are not in a position to express those wishes, then you need to put a living will in place.
- A living will is different to the powers given by a health and welfare lasting power of attorney as in the living will you yourself are making the decision in advance about your treatment. A health and welfare lasting power of attorney delegates the decision making responsibility to someone else who will act as appropriate, according to the circumstances at the time
When do I need to put a living will in place?
- As soon as possible. An accident or illness could arise at any time and could lead to a situation where it is too late for you to express your wishes and you no longer have the capacity to do so.