In Fort Smith, Arkansas a living will, also identified 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 cases 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 conflict, which could have been easily avoided if they'd simply known.
For example, some people would not want to be kept on life support if they are terminally ill, and have no good chance at recovery. Others might want to be kept alive as long as medically feasible. If your family doesn't know what you would prefer, they might have to guess. Obviously, this can lead to significant disagreements, contemplating 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.).
Additionally, individual family members may not agree on what the patient would have wanted. Disagreements on this subject can be profound, and can cause irreversible damage to family relationships. But if the patient's wishes are made clear in advance, these fights can typically be avoided.
How to Create A Living Will in Fort Smith, Arkansas
First of all, you should speak with your spouse/life partner and members of your immediate family, to discuss your wishes in this matter. If the directives in your living will ever become necessary, the procedure will go much smoother for your loved ones if there are as few surprises as possible.
The next step in the process is to truly write the living will. While you might be able to draft a valid living will by yourself, to ensure that no problems come up after it's too late, you should pursue the counsel of a Fort Smith, Arkansas attorney who drafts wills.
In order to be given effect, specific formalities have to be followed when drafting a living will. Typically, the requirements are identical, or very similar to, the requirements for regular wills.
While these procedures are not identical between individual states, there are some common similarities. For instance, both testamentary and living wills typically need to be witnessed and signed by 2 people who have no direct interest in your will.
Do I Need A Fort Smith, Arkansas Living Will Attorney?
While not strictly necessary, a reliable estate-planning lawyer in Fort Smith, Arkansas can be extremely helpful in the process of drafting a living will. An attorney will know the intricacies of local law, and will help you draft a document that, to the extent possible, will ensure that your wishes with respect to your own healthcare are followed.