1. Expert Q&A: Protecting a person with dementia from financial abuse - Weds 26 June, 3:30-4:30 pm

    Financial abuse can have serious consequences for a person with dementia. Find out how to protect a person with dementia from financial abuse.

    Sam, our Knowledge Officer (Legal and Welfare Rights) is our expert on this topic. She will be here to answer your questions on Wednesday 26 June between 3:30 - 4:30 pm.

    You can either post questions >here< or email them to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll answer as many as we can on the day.

  1. taylorcat

    taylorcat Registered User

    Jun 18, 2006
    171
    W.Scotland
    Can anyone help. Dad has now decided he wants to make a "living will". I think this is largely due to the people he sees in the ward when we visit Mum. I must say I do agree with him.

    Anyway will it have any validity in Scotland. He already has a Will, do we just add a bit on or what does he do?
     
  2. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    Hi, taylorcat.

    Yes, a living will is valid in Scotland. But it's nothing to do with the will that determines what happens to property on death, it's simply a declaration of wishes regarding treatment if the person becomes terminally ill or disabled.

    You can read about it here:

    http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/RightsAndResponsibilities/Death/Preparation/DG_10029429

    You can download a form here, although I don't think you have to use a form, just state your wishes and appoint someone to see that they are carried out.

    http://www.compactlaw.co.uk/free_documents/compactlaw_livingw.doc
     
  3. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,417
    #3 jenniferpa, Oct 16, 2007
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2007
    Taylorcat while I can say for certain that this is not a situation for which a codicil to his will would work (because that only activates after death) I have no idea what the current state of play is re a living will in Scotland. Has your father drawn up a welfare power of attorney?

    I think the potential problem with any living will is that while any restictions contained with in it might be considered if there is time to do so, in the heat of the moment, in say an emergency, SOP is to make every effort to extend life without consideration for the consequences. Also, of course, it seems to be up to the treating doctor and their view on their duties and responsibilities as to whether the expressed wishes contained within the document have any validity.

    Edited to add: as you can see from the links Hazel posted, while a living will is worthwhile to have, in most circumstances in simply provides guidance rather than being legally binding. So validity is not really the correct question, the correct question is how much credence will an individual doctor give to it. I absolutely believe that it is a worthwhile thing to do, but we all have to understand that it can be ignored.
     
  4. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    Taylorcat, I should have said that I think living wills are a good idea from the point of view of the carer.

    When my mum had her stroke, and decided she didn't want to survive, I was asked if I wanted a PEG inserted. I decided not to, as I didn't feell that I had the right to override her decision. Also when my mum was well she had often said that she didn't want to live if she was disabled. However, as nothing was written down, I felt I had to ring all the relatives to ask if they agreed -- and I still felt guilty!

    If a living will had been in place, it would have saved me a great deal of heartache.
     
  5. taylorcat

    taylorcat Registered User

    Jun 18, 2006
    171
    W.Scotland
    Thanks, that helps a lot.
     
  6. Petrus

    Petrus Registered User

    Aug 7, 2007
    61
    Northumberland
    Spreading it around

    Taylorcat,
    J's living will requests only palliative care. A piece of advice I got from our solicitor was to be sure that there is a copy in the file at the GP's, consultant's and care manager's offices. Our solicitor (a devout Roman Catholic but he was OK to prepare the document for us although he takes a very different view personally) was concious of the importance of being sure that people understood and accepted the intent of the living will.

    Our son and my sister both have a copy (we are a small family). J. gave it to our son (and his wife) and talked with them how they should priorise in the event that J. needed them urgently but our son was away on business (as he often is) and our daughter-in-law had travelling difficulties because of the child(ren). (The document has a section about not keeping her alive until family members arrive, but she does not want to die alone if at all possible).

    I have talked it with all of the nursing homes I have visited as part of my planning for the future and will be including a copy in the file of the home J. goes to for respite care shortly.

    My sense is that everyone has appreciated the clarity they have about J's wishes.
     
  7. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,417
    The other thing you shoudl probably check out, although I'm not sure where this information would be available, is what happens if you call an ambulance. Here in the states, if you do this they automatically start resusitation efforts, even if the person has a living will. In fact that are legally obliged to do so, as they are unable to make the call on whether someone is or is not dead. Now this may not be true in the UK but might be worthwhile knowing.
     

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