In Prattville, Alabama a living will, also known as a "healthcare directive" is a document which lays out instructions for your family and your doctor concerning 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, some people would not want to be kept on life support if they are terminally ill, and have no reasonable chance at recovery. Others might want to be kept alive as long as medically allowed. If your family doesn't know what you would prefer, they might have to guess. Obviously, this can lead to serious disagreements, considering how emotional and final this decision is- there is no way to compromise between the two positions (a person can be kept on life support, or taken off of it; there isn't really any middle ground.).
This can lead to arguments 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 avoided.
How to Create A Living Will in Prattville, Alabama
Before you begin, you should make it very clear to your family members what your wishes on this subject are. If it ever becomes necessary to implement a living will, the process will likely be simpler if your family already knows what to expect.
You then need to actually draft your living will. This can be made much easier if you have an experienced Prattville, Alabama attorney who practices health law or wills and trusts help you. Even though a simple living will is not terribly complicated, having professional assistance is always advisable.
In most states, a living will must follow all the formalities as testamentary wills (wills that dictate what is to be done with a person's property after their death).
While these formalities vary by state, there are a few elements that are quite common. For instance, in most states, wills have to be witnessed and signed by at least 2 people who have no direct stake in it. It's also necessary 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 Prattville, Alabama Living Will Attorney?
While not always necessary, a good healthcare or wills attorney in Prattville, Alabama can make this process much easier. Lawyers, obviously, understand the law. Because of this, it is much easier for them to avoid the legal pitfalls that can make a living will unenforceable.