Living Wills and Lasting Power of Attorneys

Living Wills are also known as advance decisions.  They are not related to your property and finances, but your health and medical treatment.

A Living Will, or advance decision, allows you to outline your wishes for refusing medical treatment if you become terminally ill, or if you lose the ability to make decisions for yourself.

If you want to refuse potentially life-sustaining treatment your decision must be in writing, signed, witnessed, and include the statement ‘even if life is at risk as a result.’

A Living Will or advance decision does not give someone else power to make other medical decisions, or financial decisions, on your behalf - for that, you'll need to put in place a Lasting Power of Attorney.

Lasting Power of Attorney

To give someone the authority to act on your behalf, either in a medical or financial capacity, you'll need to set up a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) and then register this agreement with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG).

There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney: property and financial affairs, and health and welfare. You can set them both up the same way but will need to submit two applications.

I would recommend registering both whilst you are in good health; it is a risk to leave them as you may become incapacitated and no longer able to do so. Stephenson and Smart can offer you advice on what you will need to consider and assist you with their preparation.

To discuss leaving a gift to The Norfolk Hospice please contact In Memory Fundraiser, Carol Mott, on 01485 601701 or email [email protected]

This article was written by Claire Melton from Stephenson Smart.

Stephenson Smart Chartered Accountants have offices throughout Norfolk and

can offer expert advice in probate, trusts and estates. They are working with The Norfolk Hospice as their nominated Charity of the Year.