The phrase “Living Will” is a misnomer. The correct legal term is Appointment of An Enduring Guardian. The appointment can incorporate advance care directives, giving instructions and specifying your preferences regarding treatment in the event of serious accident, illness or other incapacity.
Your Guardian or Guardians are empowered to make decisions for you and give lawful instructions to your treating physicians. By recording your wishes and instructions you also assume responsibility for making the decision, the responsibility of your Guardian is to see your decision is implemented. This also reduces the potential for family conflict.
Living wills and advanced care directives aren’t just for older adults. Unexpected tragedies, life-threatening accident and illness can occur at any age.
This document should be carefully considered. Your loved ones may have very different ideas on what care you might have wanted or they may feel obliged to ensure you receive all possible treatment. Commonly these days many people place a priority on the quality of their life and if they are unlikely to recover to such that they might enjoy a reasonable quality of life, do not wish to be kept alive by mechanical or artificial means.
An Enduring Guardianship appointment must be witnessed by a prescribed person. (eg. a Solicitor)
A guardian cannot make legal decisions or to manage a person’s financial affairs or accounts. A Power of Attorney is required for this.