Could writing a Living Will be mandatory?
It was reported in the national press this week that a senior UK judge has suggested that writing a living will should be made mandatory. In this article, Judge Justice Francis was referring to ‘Living Wills’ – a statement of wishes in the event of being seriously incapacitated. He had been dealing with an issue in the Court of Protection, part of the Family Division of the High Court, where there was disagreement about the treatment of a pensioner with dementia.
Justice Francis made a suggestion that there could be a national awareness campaign along the lines of the highly successful Organ Donation blueprint.
We would welcome such a campaign. The number of enquiries we get here where concerned family members are looking at putting a Lasting Power of Attorney into place for their relative who may or may not be lacking the required mental capacity to do so. An appointment has come in today where this may be the case. A team member will go out, and hopefully will be able to complete an LPA, but they will have to make an initial capacity judgement before proceeding. Where we aren’t convinced, a full medical Mental Capacity Assessment has to be ordered, adding time and money to the whole process. Ultimately, if a client is adjudged to be incapable of understanding what they are doing, a very arduous and expensive path of obtaining Deputyship is the only remaining option.
We’ve previously written about a particular situation that was reported in Yorkshire. Thankfully there was a decent resolution to that one, but I’ve personally had to inform a family that they’ve left it 3 months too late to get something in place.
We offer free initial advice by telephone or Skype. Don’t leave it too late. Pick up the phone and speak to a consultant for a no obligation chat. You can find our contact details here. This is our passion. We love when we are called in the nick of time. We hate when we’re not.
Also published on Medium.