What is an Advance Statement and how can it help me?

What is an Advance Statement and how can it help me?

What are Advance Statements? How do they differ to Advance Decisions? Are Advance Statements legally binding?

This article provides an overview of Advance Statements, their nature and effect and how they can be useful to you and your loved ones.

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Advance Statements can help offer clarity to your loved ones regarding your wishes and beliefs concerning medical treatments and decisions, at a time where you may lack the mental capacity to make such decisions.

This article provides a summary of the key questions regarding Advance Statements to help you to decide if you need one.

What are Advance Statements?

What can an Advance Statement cover?

Is an Advance Statement different to an Advance Decision?

Who can make an Advance Statement?

Are Advance Statements legally binding?

Do Advance Statements need to be signed and witnessed?

Does anyone need to see or know about my Advance Statement?

What are Advance Statements?

An Advance Statement is a written statement which outlines your preferences, wishes, beliefs and values regarding any future care you may need, but when you may lack the ability to make or communicate these decisions.

The purpose is to provide a guide to those who might have to make such decisions on your behalf, giving them a level of clarity, understanding and certainty.

What can an Advance Statement cover?

Advance Statements are wide in their ambit as they can cover any aspect of your future health or social care. This may include:

Preferences regarding how you like things to be done (for example, opting for a shower over a bath, sleeping with a light or TV on)

Desires over where you would like to receive care (for example, a residential, care or nursing home, a hospice, or in your home. You can even make known the location of where you would prefer the care home to be, may be near your friends, loved ones or certain places you feel most comfortable)

Religious and spiritual beliefs being reflected in the type of care you receive

Practical advice and considerations, such as who will look after any pets or maintain your garden, if you were to fall ill

Whilst you can discuss these now with certain relevant persons, an Advance Statements provides a clear outline to which they can return and reference.

You can write your Advance Statement with help from your relatives, careres, or health and social care professionals, should you wish.

Is an Advance Statement different to an Advance Decision?

Yes.

Advance Statements are not legally binding and provide you with an opportunity to outline your wishes to your loved ones and carers regarding any potential future health or social care.

On the other hand, Advance Decisions are legally binding and allows you to make a decision now to refuse specific treatments for a number of reasons.

You can learn more about Advance Decisions by clicking here.

Who can make an Advance Statement?

Anyone with the requisite mental capacity can make an Advance Statement.

Thus, anyone who is 18 or over and has mental capacity.

Mental capacity is defined as the ability to make decisions.

If you are unsure or have doubts about the mental capacity of yourself or a loved one in making an Advance Statement, click here to learn how to arrange a mental capacity assessment.

Are Advance Statements legally binding?

Unlike Advance Decisions, Advance Statements are not legally binding.

However, having said that, it is important to note that anyone making decisions on your behalf must take the Advance Statement into account.

Advance Statements are similar to Letters of Wishes (which are relevant to making your Will). Letters of Wishes are useful in accompanying your Will to give guidance to your executors, guardians or trustees, and explaining the reasons for distributing your estate as chosen.

However, Letters of Wishes are not legally binding and do not impose any obligations on your executors or trustees.

Do Advance Statements need to be signed and witnessed?

An Advance Statement is not required to be signed and witnessed.

However, signing your Advance Statement does provide clarity and reassurance that they are in fact your wishes on the paper.

Does anyone need to see or know about my Advance Statement?

You have control over who sees your Advance Statement.

It is important to keep it in a safe place which can be located and accessed if your chosen persons need to find it.

You can also keep a copy in your medical notes.

How we can help you

Advance Statements are useful in offering a guide to your loved ones and relevant people as to your wishes and preferences over any potential future social and health care, so they can make decisions on your behalf (when you cannot do so yourself) in the confidence that they are acting in your best interests.

If you wish to get started with an Advance Statement today and want some help, please feel free to contact our team on 01865 507174 or at info@adewills.co.uk.

Alternatively, if you did wish to appoint a Health and Welfare Attorney who can make important decisions regarding your health care if you lost capacity through injury or illness, you can learn more here or get started by clicking here.

LPAs are a very useful but also potentially life-changing document. As such, we offer a telephone LPA service so you can make your LPA with a professional lawyer and ask any questions you may have.

Get in touch to get protection and peace of mind by calling our friendly and helpful team on 01865 507174 or at info@adewills.co.uk.

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