Advance Directives (Living Wills)

Advance Directives (Living Wills)


An Advance Directive can provide a way for you to gain more control over any treatment and care you are given if you experience an episode or event that leaves you unable to decide or let others know what your preferences are at that time.

It can stipulate what treatments; drugs or other medical procedures you want to be given or not. It could state the place you would like to receive those services should you experience such an episode, for example, your home.

An Advance Directive is best achieved by way of a signed written instruction setting out wishes and what treatment you want or do not want in the event that you become unwell in the future. Whilst you don’t need a Lawyer to make an Advance Directive we can help you to ensure that your Advance Directive is respected.

An Advance Directive is not a binding legal document however your Doctor or other Medical Advisors will consider following your Directive after considering several matters.

  • Was the Directive made freely, in other words, no one else has influenced your decisions
  • When you made your Directive were you competent and well-informed to make those decisions
  • At the time of the event or episode does the Directive apply to those circumstances or was a different set of circumstances anticipated, or is your Directive out of date.

An Advance Directive will assist and help to ensure that your wishes are considered. If you wish to put in place a more robust plan you should consider appointing someone your Enduring Power of Attorney. That person can make decisions for you and act on your behalf should you lose mental capacity. 

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