In Del Mar, 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.
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 harm to family relations. If the patient's wishes are made clear beforehand, these disagreements can be prevented most of the time.
How to Create A Living Will in Del Mar, California
First of all, you should talk 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 really 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 obtain the counsel of a Del Mar, California attorney who drafts wills.
In order to be given effect, particular formalities have to be followed when drafting a living will. Normally, the requirements are identical, or very similar to, the requirements for regular wills.
While these protocols vary by state, there are a few elements that are quite typical. For example, in most states, wills have to be witnessed and signed by at least 2 people who have no direct share 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 Del Mar, California Living Will Attorney?
While it's not strictly obligated, it can be very helpful to have the counsel of an accomplished Del Mar, California attorney. A seasoned lawyer will help you navigate the local laws on this subject, making it much easier for your wishes to be implemented.