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Advance Statements/Advanced Decisions - Guidance

The Overall Aim

The Advance Statements/Advanced Decisions document is about you and your wishes. You should complete it at a time when you have the ability to do so, in case you are unable to make decisions about your wishes and needs at a later date. You can ask someone to help you complete the document; this should be a person of your choice and someone you trust.

As this document is owned by you, it is your responsibility to make sure it will be available to others at a time when needed. You may decide to put it in a sealed envelope in your home clearly marked ‘Advance Statements and Advanced Decisions’ or you may wish to obtain a “Message in a Bottle” from Lions Clubs International (which you store in your fridge). In this bottle you record that you have an Advance Statements/Advanced Decisions document, where it is kept and who has a copy. For more information about “Message in a Bottle”, please follow this link: Lions Clubs website

The following guidance will help you to complete your Advance Statements/Advanced Decisions document (if someone is supporting you with this, it will also help them too).

Legal Importance

Your Advance Statements (pages 1-9) include important information about your advance wishes whilst you have the ability to make these decisions. These would only be acted upon if you lost the ability to make decisions for whatever reason (this may be ill health, accident, etc).

Your Advanced Decisions (page 10) to Refuse Treatment are especially important, as they give you the legal right to refuse treatment. You cannot say what treatment you want, this is about refusing treatment. If you do decide to complete this part of the form, you are advised to seek medical advice from a doctor (this may be your GP), who will carefully consider your decisions and comply with this document. Although legally binding if completed properly, your Advanced Decisions to Refuse Treatment may be overruled by the Mental Health Act 1983 if you need treatment for mental ill health. This decision would be made by a doctor at the time you needed treatment.

Page 1

Deputy appointed by the Court of Protection or a Lasting Power of Attorney (Welfare) by the Court of Protection.

NB: If you have a Deputy or a Lasting Power of Attorney (Welfare), you should consult the person named on these Court Orders before completing this document.

You would only have a Deputy or Lasting Power of Attorney (Welfare) if your case has been to the Court of Protection.

You must then sign and date Page 1 and PRINT YOUR NAME at the bottom of the page.

Page 2

You should then decide who will have a copy of this document and add their name, contact number and position (i.e. relationship to you).

NB: It is advised that you do not have more than two copies of the form and it should be reviewed and updated no less than once every 6 to 12 months. It is advised you have a copy for yourself and one for your trusted person (this may be the person who helped you complete the document).

Page 3

Page 4

NB: It may help those caring for you to explain why you name people in each paragraph.

Page 5

Children/Dependants

Page 6

Pets

NB: The local council has a legal responsibility to protect livestock, including pets in an emergency and then will (in exceptional circumstances) provide and pay for care for up to 4 weeks. After that time they may have to consider the sad and upsetting possibility of a pet being put down if no home can be found. It is therefore important you plan where your pet is to be cared for, by whom and how this should be paid for.

Security And My Home

NB: By law no-one has the legal right to enter your home without your permission; entering without permission may be considered trespass. In an emergency (and there is reason to believe that there is danger to life or property) the Police and officials of a gas or electricity company may force entry to your home, but you may be charged with the cost of repairs, which could be excessive. Social Services, doctors, nurses and bailiffs may also enter your home under a Warrant to do so provided by a Court, if this is legally deemed necessary. These events are quite rare and only happen in emergencies or serious cases.

Page 7

Finances

This is a very important part of the document, as it gives you the opportunity to confirm how your financial affairs should be dealt with (this may include income, pensions, bank accounts, property, shares, etc).

NB: This is especially important, as it often falls to families/friends to try to deal with your financial affairs without the legal authority to do so. Pensions Services and Banks will then refuse your family/friends access to your finances unless you ensure they have the right to do so.

Office of the Public Guardian website

Alternatively, please write to: Office of the Public Guardian, PO Box 15118, BIRMINGHAM B16 6GX

Or call: 0300 456 0300

You should confirm who keeps this document if you have one.

Page 8 Additional Page

Funeral Arrangement

- religion and views

- funeral arrangements (church, hymns, flowers, readings, etc)

You should take time to plan and describe your funeral arrangements, as it is important to help your family and friends and those who care for you as much as possible at a time of grief and loss.

NB: In exceptional circumstances the local council may pay funeral expenses. This only happens when a person has no money to do so, nor any family, relatives or friends to settle the costs. This is called an intestate death. If a person's funeral arrangements are concluded under these arrangements, then this would result in a very basic funeral.

It is important that you plan your funeral, not only for your own peace of mind, but to ensure those who love and care for you do not have the burden of doing so in their most difficult time of loss and grief.

Page 9

This page provides you with a continuation sheet; if you do not use it, put a line through it so that it cannot be added to.

Advanced Treatment Decisions

This is your opportunity to describe what treatment you may wish to refuse. Important points to note:

It remains illegal to assist someone to end their life/commit suicide.

Advanced Treatment Decisions are very powerful if completed properly and are largely legally binding on those who provide you with care and treatment. Advanced Treatment Decisions can be made by adults aged 18 years or over, who have the ability/mental capacity to make decisions.

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