Most people have preferences about the care and treatment they would want to receive if they were ill or could no longer make decisions for themselves.
Planning ahead for our future care and for after our death is something all of us can do to make sure our wishes are known. You don't need to wait until you are unwell or over a certain age.
If you want to be confident that your wishes will be followed after you die, then it is important to make a will.
If you do not have a valid will, then the people you wan to receive your possessions and money after your death may not do so.
GOV.UK website - Making a willDying Matters - Planning Ahead
Freephone 08000 21 44 66
An Advance Decision allows you to record any medical treatment that you do not want to be given in the future, in case you later cannot make or communicate a decision yourself.
Advance Decision to Refuse Treatment are also commonly known as Living Wills
If an Advance Decision meets certain requirements it is legally binding and healthcare professionals must follow it.
You do not need a solicitor to make an Advance Statement or Advance Decision.
There are charities that provide free support to complete the necessary forms over the phone or by email.
Tel:0800 055 6112
Compassion in Dying - Advance decisions
Tel: 0800 999 2434
Dying matters - Planning Ahead
Freephone: 08000 21 44 66
Independent Age - Advance Decisions
Tel:0800 319 6789
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) allows you to give someone you trust the legal power to make decisions on your behalf in case you later become unable to make decisions for yourself.
The person who makes the LPA is known as the 'donor' and the person given the power to make decisions is know as the 'attorney'.
There are two different types of LPA:
- An LPA for Property and Financial Affairs covers decisions about money and property - please refer to Managing someone else's finances for more information
- An LPA for Health and Welfare covers decisions about health and personal welfare.
A Health and Welfare LPA allows you to choose one or more people who can make decisions for you about things like medical treatment.
Mental Capacity - more information
Your Health and Welfare attorney can only make decisions for you if you have lost the capacity to make decisions yourself.
Any care or treatment decisions made by your attorney must be done in your best interests.
Compassion in Dying - Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and WelfareGOV.UK - Power of AttorneyDying Matters - Planning for your future careAGE UK - Power of AttorneyIndependent Age - Power of Attorney
Advance care planning is a voluntary process. This may be prompted by wanting to make plans just in case something unexpected happens or you may already be living with a long term condition.
NHS - A Guide for Planning your Future Care
The process helps you to think about what you would want to happen in the future and gives you the chance to set out what your choices are about your care and treatment.
Advance care planning can only be done with someone who has the capacity to make their own decisions.
NHS Choices page with information about what is end of life care, planning ahead and managing your illness.
NHS UK - End if Life Care