In South African law, a last will sets out who will benefit from a party’s estate after he/she
dies. Preferably the original will should be given to your lawyer with a copy to your partner.
An Advance Medical Directive (AD) informs people what must happen shortly before you
In a medical sense, you can still be alive but not have the capacity to make decisions for
yourself. An AD lets a trustworthy person know what you want in such a situation – for e.g.,
you may want to be an organ donor.
South African law does not recognize living wills, but it does recognize the right to refuse
An AD allows you to name a doctor as proxy or assign a medical power of attorney to the
person that you trust to, on your behalf, refuse treatment and act in your best interest.
You have the right not to be kept alive if there is no reasonable prospects of recovery, but in
most instances you won’t be able to make such a decision then.
The AD ensures confusion regarding being kept on life support does not occur.