In Palmer, Alaska a living will, also known as a "healthcare directive" is a document which lays out directions for your family and your doctor regarding healthcare matters should you become so ill that you are unable to make or express such decisions.
Making a living will can save your family a great deal of grief. There are some pretty terrible situations that a living will can help you avoid. It's not uncommon for a patient to become incapacitated, leaving the doctors with only a few options. Members of your family might disagree over what you would want, leading to an extremely painful dispute, which could have been easily avoided if they'd simply known.
For instance, many people state that they would not want to be kept alive by artificial means if they are in a vegetative state, and have no decent chance of recovering. Others, however, would like to be kept alive if they have any chance, no matter how small, of recovery. If your wishes on this matter aren't known, your doctor or family members might have no idea what you would have wanted, and may make a choice that goes against your wishes.
This can lead to disagreements between loved ones, some of whom might want to keep the patient on life support, while others believe that he or she would not want to be kept alive in such a state. If the patient's wishes had been made clear beforehand in a legally-binding document, such infighting could be prevented.
How to Create A Living Will in Palmer, Alaska
Before initiating the process, you should make your wishes very clear to your family. If your family is cognizant of your wishes well in advance, it will probably be much easier for them to accept the provisions in your living will, even if they don't agree with them.
You then need to actually draft your living will. This can be made much easier if you have an experienced Palmer, Alaska attorney who practices health law or wills and trusts help you. Even though a simple living will is not terribly perplexing, having professional assistance is always advisable.
Generally, living wills need to follow the same formalities as testamentary wills (wills that dictate how one's property is to be distributed after death).
While these formalities vary by state, there are a few elements that are quite typical. For example, in most states, wills have to be witnessed and signed by at least 2 people who have no direct share in it. It's also crucial to avoid any disputes or confusion as to whether or not a particular document was intended to be a will. A clear statement to that effect should be the first paragraph in any type of will.
Do I Need A Palmer, Alaska Living Will Attorney?
While not always necessary, a reputable healthcare or wills attorney in Palmer, Alaska can make this process much easier. Lawyers, obviously, understand the law. Because of this, it is much easier for them to prevent the legal pitfalls that can make a living will unenforceable.