Once an individual is incapacitated – for example by dementia, stroke or an acquired brain injury (ABI) – it can be difficult to make legal arrangements for end of life care for them.
By taking action as early as possible, you can make sure you and your next of kin have legal documents in place that clearly state who you trust to take responsibility for you in the event that you are no longer able to manage your own affairs.
Types of legal instrument for end of life care
There are several ways you can formalise your plans and intentions using several different types of legal instrument for end of life care:
- ‘Advance healthcare directives’ (commonly known as living wills or by the NHS as ‘advance decisions’) allow you to refuse specific treatments in advance, for example if a certain medical procedure goes against your religious beliefs or you just don’t want to be kept on life support indefinitely.
- You can also make a more general ‘advance statement’ which provides guidelines about the type of medical and social care you want to receive at the end of your life, although this is not legally binding.
- ‘Lasting powers of attorney’ allow you to name an individual who will take decision-making responsibility over issues like your medical care and personal finances, in the event that you are no longer capable of making those decisions yourself.
You should also consider writing a Will – this only directly affects what happens to your estate after you die, but it is important not to overlook this issues aswell.
About Lasting Powers of Attorney
Lasting Powers of Attorney are an important legal document for end of life care, as they allow you to name someone who is given legal control over decisions relating to your care, and potentially other areas of your life like your finances.
You can draw up an LPA in advance without losing control of your finances – it is only brought into effect in the event that you lose mental capacity, for example in dementia cases.
This is a legal instrument for end of life care that many people still don’t have good knowledge about, but if you are planning ahead or have recently been diagnosed with a degenerative condition, it’s an important option to consider.
Working with end of life clients
We work with clients in all stages of life, including many who are reaching the end of their life, and our family law solicitors in Leeds and York have trained under the Alzheimer’s Society’s ‘Dementia Friends’ programme.
No matter what you are facing – whether it’s an ABI, a degenerative mental health condition or a physical illness affecting you or your family – we are here to help you resolve any legal issues you might face.
Call Lupton Fawcett today on 0330 404 6390 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and a member of our team of family law solicitors in Leeds, Sheffield and York will let you know what we can do to help.