In Citrus Heights, California a living will, also identified 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.
A living will might prove necessary in heading off painful and time-consuming disputes among family members. If your family has no clue as to how you would want a given situation to be handled, it's up to them to guess. Obviously, this can lead to significant disagreements. If family members know in advance what the patient wants, these disputes are far less likely.
For instance, many people would never want to be kept alive by artificial means if they are in a vegetative state with no chance of recovery. Some, on the other hand, might want to be kept alive indefinitely, because of the slight chance of a miraculous recovery. Obviously, this is a personal decision, and one choice is not "better" than the other. However, there is no middle ground between the two. You probably want the peace of mind that comes with knowing that, if such a matter comes up, your wishes (whatever they are) will be honored.
This can lead to fighting 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 Citrus Heights, California
Before starting the process, you should make your wishes quite clear to your family. If your family is aware 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.
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 Citrus Heights, California attorney who drafts wills.
Usually, living wills need to follow the same formalities as testamentary wills (wills that dictate how one's property is to be distributed after death).
In general, wills of any type (testamentary or living) have to be signed by 2 people who witnessed it being signed by the person who the will is for. They must also contain a clear provision saying what they truly are (so there can be no confusion as to whether or not a particular document was intended to be a will).
Do I Need A Citrus Heights, California Living Will Attorney?
While not absolutely necessary, a knowledgeable estates attorney in Citrus Heights, 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 possible.