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Living Will vs Lasting Power of Attorney

Which takes priority: Living Will or Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare?

You can have both a Living Will (now known as an Advance Decision) and a Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare (LPA). If you do, the one that you created more recently will take priority when a decision needs to be made about your treatment and care.

If you make an LPA after making an Advance Decision: Your attorney under the LPA will be able to override what is written in your Advance Decision as long as, when you made the LPA, you gave them the power to make the decision in question (for example, allowing them to make decisions on life-sustaining treatment for you).

If you make an Advance Decision after making an LPA: Your attorney will not be able to override what is written in your Advance Decision. The advantage of first creating and registering the LPA for Health and Welfare and then the Advance Decision, is that it allows your attorney(s) to ensure your wishes to refuse treatment are upheld and gives them certainty that they are acting in your best interest. If a decision needs to be made about something that you did not specify in your Advance Decision, then your attorney will still be able to act on your behalf.

For further information on Living Wills click here to read our article “What is a Living Will?”

For further information on LPAs, please click here to read out article “Lasting Power of Attorney – what is it?”

Our Wills and Probate Solicitors have extensive experience in dealing with wills, estate administration, trusts, powers of attorney and tax planning. If you need legal advice on Living Wills or LPAs contact our team of professionals on +44(0)1483 451900 or alternatively make an online enquiry here and we will contact you.