Major Illnesses are on the Rise, are Living Wills Becoming Essential?

August 7, 2023


According to a recent study by The Health Foundation, roughly 9 million people in England will be living with major illnesses by 2040. 


These major illnesses include dementia, diabetes, cancer, depression, and kidney disease. Health leaders are calling the upcoming wave of ill-health “catastrophic.” 


This is mostly due to our ageing population. The number of chronic and age-related illnesses such as Alzheimer’s has and continues to increase. However, medical advancements, lifestyle choices and environmental factors are apparently leading us to further complications later in life too.  


It raises the question, are healthcare directives, Advanced Decisions and Powers of Attorney becoming more important than ever?  


A recent BBC article explored whether ‘living health Wills’ (Advance Decisions) should be explored earlier in life, potentially by a health care professional. After 73-year-old Sally, from Wellington, witnessed her mother slowly deteriorate over many months,  it made Sally realise she wanted as much control over her own dying as possible, so she put together an Advance Decision.  


There’s a growing trend towards these ‘living Wills,’ driven by an increased awareness in healthcare decision making in general. The advancements in medical technology have made healthcare decisions more complicated too, people have more options. People can also use them to spare their families from making the hard decisions that perhaps they had to, giving them some peace of mind.  


All these factors make it easy to understand their increase in popularity. Perhaps they will follow the same trajectory as Powers of Attorney  Is the number of documents required by each client likely to keep increasing?  


If the answer is yes, and likely it is, professional estate planners need drafting tools that can support them in delivering a truly holistic plan for their clients.  


Arken Professional is the most comprehensive Will writing software available on the market. It supports the drafter in helping them put together Wills, Advance Decisions, Powers of Attorney, and other estate planning documents in a matter of minutes. Reducing the administrative load so they can spend more time on what really matters, their client.  


The Health Foundation: ; Watt T, Raymond A, Rachet-Jacquet L, Head A, Kypridemos C, Kelly E, Charlesworth A. Health in 2040: projected patterns of illness in England. The Health Foundation; 2023 (