In Arcata, California 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 example, some people don't want to be kept on life support if they are in a vegetative state with no significant chance of recovery. Others, however, might prefer to be kept alive as long as humanly allowed. Another person's wishes might be something in between. In any case, if the family doesn't know what their loved one's wishes are, they may have to guess, which could lead to them making a judgment that the patient would never have wanted.
Even worse, individual family members might not be able to agree about what your wishes would be. Disagreements on a subject like this can cut very deep, and cause irreparable damage to family relations. If the patient's wishes are made clear beforehand, these disputes can be avoided most of the time.
How to Create A Living Will in Arcata, California
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 should then actually draft the will. To be sure that it is valid, you should have the help of an Arcata, California attorney who specializes in wills.
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 requirements are not identical between individual states, there are some common similarities. For example, both testamentary and living wills usually need to be witnessed and signed by 2 people who have no direct interest in your will.
Do I Need A Arcata, California Living Will Attorney?
While not absolutely necessary, a good estates attorney in Arcata, California can be very helpful in drafting a living will. A lawyer will understand the intricacies of state and local law, and can craft a document around those laws, to ensure that your wishes are followed, to the extent allowed.