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Writing a ‘living will’ could soon become compulsory

A High Court judge has been praised for suggesting that people should have to make an advance statement of wishes otherwise known as a ‘living will’ in case said person suffers a serious incapacitating illness or injury.

Judge Justice Francis says educating people about living wills would be beneficial after he oversaw a dispute about the treatment of a pensioner who had dementia.

Mr Justice Francis said that disputes about treatment of patients who have lost capacity would be easier to resolve if the patient had expressed their wishes in advance.

Whilst a living Will could help prevent these types of disputes, there is another option that could also provide a solution.

A health and welfare Lasting Power of Attorney would allow people to leave more comprehensive and detailed instructions relating to their wishes should they no longer have capacity.

Justice Francis suggests that a campaign similar to that of organ donation awareness campaigns including the ‘Yes I Donate’ initiative, who held a week-long campaign to raise awareness last month, is needed to educate those who may be at risk of seeing their living Wills deemed invalid in the future.

Whilst compulsory living Wills may become a reality in the future, at present they are not.

If you are unsure about what steps you need to take to create a living Will or you would like to discuss any other issues relating to wills or a Lasting Power of Attorney we can help.

Alternatively, you can get more information as to why you should create an LPA by clicking here.

Here at Thorneycroft Solicitors, we have an expert team of Wills, Trust and Probate solicitors who specialise in advising on and providing wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney.

We provide you with a sensitive and sympathetic service and will guide you through the process from start to finish.

Our team is led by Heather Gaunt, a member of STEP (Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners), who can act as a professional Attorney if required.

If you would like any more information about LPAs or Wills or would like to book an appointment for a preliminary consultation please call us on 0800 1979345.