They can also be called Advance Directives, or Advance Decisions. But a Living Will is a way of explaining what you would like to happen if you can no longer make your own decisions in relation to your health and welfare. Kind of like making a Will - a similar kind of document - but for during your lifetime.
When they might be useful
A common example is where someone specifies that if they are in a coma, and their condition is not improving, then a Doctor is to switch off any life support machines. But they can be used for all kinds of things, where someone has strong feelings about a particular medical treatment such as a blood transfusion and wants to document their wishes.
This kind of situation can cause upset in a family, but an Advance Decision can actually make a family’s decisions easier, as it is all there in black and white.
An alternative, and generally simpler method, is a Lasting Power of Attorney for Health & Welfare, although this can lack the detail and personal nature of a Living Will.
Living Wills are one of the most sensitive things a Solicitor can do, but if you want to know more about setting one up then please get in touch.