What is a Living Will?

Living Wills, correctly known as Advance Decisions, came into law under the Mental Capacity Act 2005.

The Advance Decision sets out your preferences about specific types of medical treatment.

In the event that you do not have mental capacity or are unable to communicate when such treatment is being considered, medics are legally bound to follow the instructions found in your Advance Decision.

Why might I need an Advance Decision?

It records whether you would object to, or accept, life-saving or prolonging treatment in particular circumstances.  Your medical team is obliged to heed your Advance Decision.

Although it sounds gloomy to plan for the worst, that’s pretty much what an Advance Decision lets you do.  It effectively gives you a say in the situation despite your incapacity at the time.

How do I make an Advance Decision?

We will talk you through the particular scenarios which an Advance Decision covers, and help you articulate your views on what your treatment should be.  We recommend that you discuss the scenarios and your instructions with your GP or other treating doctor before finalising your Advance Decision.

When the Advance Decision is written, it must be signed in the presence of a witness.  The witness must then also sign in your presence.

Can I include my wishes for general care in case I lose capacity?

No. But you can make an Advance Statement for this purpose.

The Advance Statement is not legally binding, but can include general guidance about how you would like to be cared for should you lose capacity.  It often covers personal preferences, such as what type of music you enjoy, what your intimate care regime is, your hobbies and interests – information which will give those looking after you insight into your likes and dislikes.

Services

Wills 

  

Costs

Advance Decision:
Consultation & Paperwork
£125 (inc VAT)

The Cost of Dying is increasing

When we die, we’re not there to foot the bill, so why should we worry? It can be tricky – or impossible – for loved ones to come up with a significant sum of money at the time of a death. Even more so if the event is unexpected. Prepaid funeral plans enable us to cover these costs in advance.

Get your Will checked!

If you’ve got a Will, it’s a good idea to check it’s up to date. Passage of time, changed relationships and updates to legislation could mean it no longer does what you intended. If you need a new Will we can do this for you. Our fixed Will writing costs start from £199 for a single simple Will.

Bicester, Buckingham & now Oxford!

Bicester Wills & Probate launched in 2010, and opened an office in Buckingham in 2018. We are delighted to now also have an office in Headington, Oxford. We look forward to servicing the Wills & Probate needs of the local community in Oxford.

Probate fees are on the increase

Currently, there is a set fee of £215 to obtain a Grant of Probate. The new fee to be charged for Probate applications will be calculated on a sliding scale, probably around 0.5% of the value of the estate. This will have a huge impact on the costs of most probate applications, so what can you do about it?

What else should I consider when making my Advance Decision?

1. You should review it every couple of years, and sign and date it to indicate you have done so.  If your medical team are aware that there have been advances in treatments or techniques since you signed your Advance Decision which, had you known about them, might have caused you to change your mind about your Advance Decision, they can apply to the Court to have it set aside.  Regular reviews show that you have reconsidered your decision in light of any such advances.

2. You should ensure people know about it!  Tell your next of kin, or a trusted friend who is likely to be contacted in an emergency or involved in your care.  Give a copy to your GP and have it added to your health records.  If you amend your Advance Decision, be sure to have the old ones destroyed and replaced.

3. If you have a Health & Welfare LPA, or are considering one, talk to us about the implications of having both in place.  The most recent document will outrank the older one in terms of binding your treating doctors, so it is important that they interact together without contradicting one another.  We can advise you in this regard, and complete the relevant paperwork for you to ensure your wishes will be carried out.

To find out more, or to draw up an Advance Decision,

book an appointment online or by telephone.