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Things to consider

There are some differences between an Advance Decision (Living Will) and a Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare (LPA) that you might want to consider.

How long does it take for an Advance Decision (Living Will) and an LPA to become valid?

An Advance Decision can be used as soon as it has been completed, signed and witnessed.

An LPA can only be used after it has been registered with the Office of the Public Guardian. This usually takes between eight and 10 weeks if there are no mistakes in the application.

What do an Advance Decision (Living Will) and an LPA cover?

An Advance Decision covers refusals of medical treatment. It also only applies to the treatments and circumstances that you write about in the form. It won’t apply if you’re in a situation that isn’t covered in your Advance Decision.

An LPA allows your attorney to make any decision about your health and personal welfare. This includes where you live and how you’re cared for, your diet and what you wear as well as decisions about medical treatment.

Who makes decisions for me if I make an Advance Decision (Living Will) or an LPA?

In an Advance Decision, you make a refusal of medical treatment. It’s in your own words.

In an LPA, your attorney will make decisions on your behalf. You therefore need to trust your attorney to understand your wishes, respect your values and be able to make the best decisions for you.

How much does it cost to make an Advance Decision (Living Will) and an LPA?

It’s free to make an Advance Decision. It currently costs £82 to register an LPA, but some people with low incomes or on certain benefits can pay a reduced fee.