Malcolm Jack & Matheson have a range of services that help our senior clients make provision for and, more importantly, retain control of their lives. In addition to making a Will and granting Continuing Powers of Attorney, many of our older clients have expressed an interest in Living Wills, often known as Advance Health Care Directives.
An Advance Health Care Directive is a written document stating in advance to your medical advisers and to your relatives your wishes regarding your health care and treatment should certain debilitating or extreme illnesses or conditions arise. You should have the right to make it known that you would not wish your life extended by the treatment of a minor ailment which might otherwise end your life if you were in the late or last stages of a terminal illness.
Many of us would not wish the decision over whether or not to withdraw our medical treatment is put in the hands of another person. A relative or loved one might find that decision extremely difficult. By making your feelings known in a clear, concise and supportable way in an Advance Health Care Directive, you can reduce the stress and responsibility on your loved ones which might otherwise arise from having to make that decision on your behalf.
We should point out that, at the time of writing, the law in Scotland is far from clear over the enforceability of an Advance Health Care Directive. Every set of circumstances may give rise to different considerations. The law is always changing. The British Medical Association supports the use of Advance Health Care Directives but only where it appears that the conditions for the Directive being valid are met. We can advise you on the conditions which require to be fulfilled to ensure that your instructions have the best possible chance of being legally binding on your Doctor and medical staff.
There are many issues which are relevant to older clients. These include decisions on whether or not a person has the capacity to give instructions or deal with their affairs, the granting of Wills and tax planning, the creation of Trusts, the assessment of assets and the availability of benefits, the granting of Powers of Attorney, the obtaining of Guardianship and Intervention Orders, protection from abuse and the extent and availability of care. We can provide help and assistance with all of these issues and will take care to meet with you personally and, if you prefer, with a trusted relative or friend, without reference to legal jargon and with as little, (or indeed as much) technology as you wish.