Advance directives are more commonly known as living wills are a part of the estate planning portfollio clients prepare in order to spare their nearest and dearest the emotionally tasking decision of at which point treatment for a terminal and painful condition should stop.
The Living Will Reduces Uncertainty Among Ones Family
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.
The clearest example of the use of the advance directive is when the patient is in a persistent vegitative state, and his medical team determine in thier professional judement there is little chance of a change in his conidition. The living will would then be invoked it would have been prepared while the principal, the person who is the object of the medical treatment was evidently of sound mind. The moral and ethical delicacies inherent in the invocation of the living will means the treatment team would not be bound by the living will if it fails to accord with their judgement.
Advance directives are precatory trusts in short, the trustees cannot be bound by them in that the circumstances for invocation of the trust or relevent clauses are not appropriate and the trustees are allowed to utilize their discretion.
The living will, although a separate document, and as such can be prepared on a stand alone basis, is generally produced as part of the lasting power of attorney suite of documents. Unlike the lasting power of attorney, there is no need for registration with any authorities such as the Office of the Public Guardian, but you would need to keep it safe and we would always advise that your family were aware of its existence do they may inform your medical team to respect your wishes. The living will may even be written as part of our estate planning excercise to ensure the peace of mind that when the time comes your family are spared some of the emmotional burden to the extent that it is possible.