In Contra Costa County, California a living will, also recognized 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.
A living will might prove essential in heading off painful and time-consuming disagreements among family members. If your family has no clue as to how you would want a certain situation to be handled, it's up to them to guess. Obviously, this can lead to severe disagreements. If family members know in advance what the patient wants, these disputes are far less likely.
For example, 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. Nonetheless, there is no middle ground between the two. You likely want the peace of mind that comes with knowing that, if such an issue comes up, your wishes (whatever they are) will be honored.
This can lead to conflicts 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 Contra Costa County, California
Before initiating the process, you should make your wishes extremely 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 accomplished Contra Costa County, California attorney who practices health law or wills and trusts help you. Even though a simple living will is not terribly difficult, having professional assistance is always advisable.
In most states, the standards for holding a living will to be valid are the same as those necessary for an ordinary will, at least with respect to the formalities that must be followed.
While these required protocols vary by state, there are a few common elements. For instance, most wills and living wills need to be witnessed and signed by 2 people who have no direct interest in the subject matter.
Do I Need A Contra Costa County, California Living Will Attorney?
While not always necessary, a seasoned healthcare or wills attorney in Contra Costa County, California 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.