Advance Decisions

We are all aware of cases where the relatives of the sick have often had to go to court in order to get the level of care they require for their loved ones. The expense and distress caused by this procedure is totally unnecessary if there is either an applicable power of attorney, or, in England or Wales, an ADVANCE DECISION.

An Advance Decision is a relatively straightforward document which only becomes effective if you are unable to participate in decisions about your medical care and two doctors are of the opinion that you are unlikely to recover from your condition.

An Advance Decision enables YOU to:

  • Make choices about the level of medical treatment that YOU would want should you suffer from a life threatening illness or condition.
  • Appoint somebody to take part in medical decisions on your behalf should you become unable to do so.
  • Make statements to be considered by those delivering treatment about the treatment that you want, or don't want, to be given.

Anyone making an Advance Decision is urged to discuss its content with their General Practitioner or other medical practitioner and advise that the document should be reviewed regularly.

For more information on drafting an Advance Decision, please contact an IPW member near to you, just click here


The rules regarding the validity of similar documents made in England and Wales before 1st October 2007 changed on that date meaning that many such documents, often called Living Wills or Advance Directives, will no longer be legally valid.

It is important that anyone with such a document should take advice regarding its validity. For advice from an IPW member near to you, just click here

To find the details of a member of the Institute who is local to you, use the contact information below:
England & Wales
0345 257 2570
0345 257 2670

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© Institute of Professional Willwriters (2018)