Advance Decisions: Understanding their Growing Importance

Our market is forever evolving and one area that is gaining increased attention is Advance Decisions – also known as Living Wills.


This small but mighty document empowers individuals to outline their preferences for medical treatment in the event they become unable to communicate or make decisions for themselves.


But why the growing importance?


1. People are living longer, but not necessarily better.


These longer lifespans are accompanied by a host of challenges. Many of our elders now experience chronic health conditions or cognitive decline as part of their ageing process. The media often reports on the increase in cases of Dementia and Alzheimer’s for example, we know it’s a growing problem.


The aging population faces the prospect of extended periods of illness and diminished physical or cognitive capabilities, which will impact their well-being in later years. Having an Advance Decision in place will help those facing these upcoming challenges to plan and make personal choices.


2. The importance of personal autonomy shouldn’t be overlooked.


As we get older, it’s important to maintain our autonomy. Advance Decisions empower your clients to maintain control over their healthcare decisions, even when they are no longer able to communicate. You can play a significant role in helping clients understand the importance of having a legally binding document that reflects their personal choices and values.


3. Advancements in medical care and technology mean healthcare decisions are now more complex.


The rapid advancements in medical technology have made healthcare decisions increasingly complicated. Staying abreast of these changes will help you guide your clients through the intricacies of modern medical interventions, this will help them to make informed choices that align with their beliefs and preferences.


4. Avoid unnecessary family heartbreak and prevent disputes.


No one wants to make difficult medical decisions on behalf of their loved ones, especially if they haven’t had a conversation about their wishes prior. Having a clear and legally binding document can prevent heartache and disputes among family members.


Using software like Arken Professional to draft Advance Decisions and associated documents – (like Wills, Powers of Attorney, Expressions of Wishes and more) helps reduce the amount of time you must spend on simply creating documentation. This means you can spend more time providing valuable advice around topics such as healthcare with them.


Another way to avoid disputes and heartache for families is by complementing an Advance Decision with a Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs) and vice versa. Whilst both documents have distinct roles, they support each other in ensuring an individuals’ wishes are honoured during times of incapacity. While an LPA appoints a trusted person to make decisions on behalf of the individual, Advance Decisions enable the individuals to specify their preferences. By using both documents together, individuals can proactively plan for their futures and provide clarity and guidance to their trusted loved ones.


Arken Professional’s precedents, clauses and processes are monitored by a Legal Advisory Board too, so you can rest in the knowledge that the system is using up to date legal best practices. Digital mental capacity assessments are also available within Arken Professional, helping you to protect vulnerable clients even further and better evidence your due diligence should the need arise.



For more information about how Arken Professional can help you serve your clients, or for how to draft an Advance Decision within the software, please take the product tour below or feel free to reach out to us using:


Email: info@arkenlegal 


Telephone: 01732 867792