top of page
Living wills

Living wills

SKU: 4.23
  • Advice

    What is a living will?

    These effectively list your wishes should a situation happen where you may not be able to make a decision yourself, such as if in a serious accident, in a vegetative state etc. It allows you to give advance instructions, even if carrying them out would lead to your death. Your instructions would only be carried out if there was no chance of you recovering mentally enough to change your previous decision.

    Many of us would not want to continue to live under certain situations, like being kept alive by a machine when there is no hope of any quality of life, the most common instruction is the DNR – Do Not Resuscitate order but you may make whatever criteria you wish.


    When making a living will it is suggested that you consider organ donation options, these would help your family emotionally, knowing a part of you effectively lives on or that your generosity has helped others to enjoy their life.


    You should discuss your advance decision with a healthcare professional who knows your medical history and the risks and benefits of refusing certain treatments. You may also want to discuss it with your family and friends so that they understand your wishes. Ideally, you must give clear, written instructions about the circumstances under which you would not want to receive treatment and file this with your solicitor who can relay your wishes to medical staff, or you can leave them with friends/family.


    Verbal instruction can be given to your GP so they can include it in your medical notes, you can change it at any time. 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.’


    If you would prefer to be cared for in a certain way without threatening life then you can detail such things like: -

    • If I lose mental capacity through a stroke or head injury then I would like to be cared for at home / I prefer to wear loose-fitting clothes / I would like a hairdresser to visit every two weeks to keep me looking presentable / I like to sleep with the windows open etc.
    • If I lose the ability to communicate then I would like to go to church every Sunday and so on.
    • If in a condition of artificial life support, I do not wish to be given food or drink by tube (doctors call this ‘artificial nutrition and hydration);


    There is a multitude of personal preferences and you should consider what is personally important to you. It is a legal quirk that you cannot state that you want to die or instruct others to kill you, however, it is perfectly legal to give instructions to restrict elements such as food and drink which are essential to life.


    At Lestons we handle any living will with extreme sensitivity and respect, because of the sensitivity of the subject, we ensure that we do this on a face-to-face basis, this is so that we can confirm there are no external influences to affect your decision-making process.


    How we can help

    Lestons can arrange living will for you, we have our own psychologist (required to prove you are of sound mind whilst making the decisions) and solicitor. All meetings regarding a living will are face to face and in private, this is so that we can ensure you are under no under influence, if you ever want to change the terms then the process is repeated. A copy of your living will be sent to your GP as this is most likely the first person any hospital would contact in the event of an emergency.


    It is vital that we fully understand your wishes, as such if there is any vagueness the solicitor may ask you to clarify, for instance “if I go gaga” is not a fair term, you will appreciate that such an instruction would require clarification. You may invite anyone you wish to witness these proceedings. At the end of the process, your entire instructions will be read back to you, any amendments made instantly – once completed it will be signed by yourself and witnessed by both our staff members and anyone else in attendance that you wish to witness it.


    To being the process we would need you to initiate a case by clicking on the link at the top of this page, you will then need to deposit a sum equal to one hour’s usage, upon receipt of these funds you will be assigned your personal caseworker who will telephone you to discuss the matter and make arrangements on how to proceed.


    Please note your caseworker can only give generic advice, their role is to prepare your details for handling by our experts and to act as your point of contact, they will also issue you with your Password and PIN, these will be needed to log onto your client dashboard. From your dashboard you will be able to manage and view every aspect of your case, upload documents, images, files etc.


Click hear to book your

free initial consultation:

bottom of page