About McLennan Adam Davis

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What is a living Will and are they worthwhile?

A Living Will should perhaps be termed an advanced medical directive. 

A Living Will document does not take effect upon death but deems to convey the granter’s wishes in respect of medical treatment to be provided or otherwise before that person’s death. It would provide the granter’s viewpoint as to future medical treatment required in the eventuality of being unable to communicate their wishes.

Within such a document you are able to express any type of medical treatment that you would wish to refuse in certain circumstances.

As we live longer, more individual clients may deem a Living Will to be appropriate to certain circumstances. 

The leaving of a Living Will does not require any action on the part of any third party. Your nominated proxy can be consulted on any decisions that require to be made.

Clients may have religious, moral or philosophical difficulties within this complex area of law and it is still very contentious. Living Wills do still remain however difficult in law and are a potential area of challenge in so far as the granter is concerned. It is our understanding that the British Medical Authority (BMA) are advising doctors whereby that there are valid and applicable medical directives in place, they should be followed and they are encouraged to follow the “general spirit” of the statement if it is evident. 

Normally within your Living Will you would nominate a proxy who would be consulted in the event of any decisions requiring to be made. It does however still remain a difficult area in respect of challenge. 

We would suggest it would be beneficial when granting a Living Will that clients from time to time, indicate that their previous Living Will remains valid and provide an up to date expression of their wishes on a fairly regular basis (every three to five years)

It is also prudent that a copy of the Living Will is placed with your doctor for reference purposes.

You should be advised to discuss the terms of the document with both your family and also your doctor.

It should also be borne in mind that you must be fully capax when you make your Living Will. It is a contentious area of law at this present moment and over time there may be further developments.

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If you have any questions about Living Wills or any other query, please contact our team today. 

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