Living Wills are called Advanced Health Care Directives (AHDs), details of which are set forth in the Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act 2015 – but this Act has yet to be implemented.  However, AHDs are still considered legal under Common Law and, if you want to be proactive about your advanced Health Care Planning, there are forms available online under “Think Ahead” and these forms are said to be in keeping with the legislation insofar as we know at the moment.  If you have major concerns about your advanced health care, it is well worth downloading one of these forms, completing it and leaving it with your Enduring Power of Attorney.

It could also be considered as an Enduring Power of Attorney whereby you grant your Attorney power to act on your behalf in the event of mental incapacity.

Should Everyone Have Living Wills

Yes, especially with an aging population – this will help reduce the burden on your family and help them make decisions on your behalf. The Enduring Power of Attorney is most needed if, due to some form of debilitating disease, such as dementia or unfortunate accident, you are unable to make decisions for yourself.

Is a Living Will Legally Binding

Yes, an Enduring Power of Attorney is legally binding, but would need to be registered to be fully effective.  Further, your AHD will give instructions on your health care and is considered legal under Common Law and in keeping with current legislation.

How Does it Work

The AHD gives clear information in case of an emergency, specifying your medical carers and medication and sets out your preferences about medical treatment as to what you do and what you do not want.  An Enduring Power of Attorney allows your Attorney make all decisions in respect of your property, bank and any other assets you might have.

Is an Advance Directive the same as a Living Will

Living Wills is an American term, but an AHD is as close as we can get to a Living Will until the 2015 Assisted Decision Making Capacity Act 2015 is fully implemented.  We would always recommend that an Enduring Power of Attorney be created and placed with your AHD.

How do I Set One Up

Contact one of our Solicitors and we will gladly explain all that is required in respect of both the AHD and the Enduring Power of Attorney.

See our Article on our Enduring Powers of Attorney and our separate article in regard to Wills.  Ideally AHD, Enduring Powers of Attorney and Wills, should all be considered and we are very happy at our offices to explain the procedures.  First consultations are always free.

If you have not considered an Enduring Power of Attorney, we would strongly urge that you do so as we have seen numerous families greatly upset that they did not do so in time and have to deal with the current complicated Wards of Court system.

For further information on this or any other matter, please contact our office on 01-4540068 or email info@kit-webdesign.com for an appointment.

John Gaynor
John Gaynor & Co Solicitors LLP
42-46 Thomas Street
Dublin 8