In Fountain Valley, California 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.
A living will might prove necessary 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 significant 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 a matter 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 Fountain Valley, California
Before initiating the process, you should make your wishes quite 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 should then go about drafting the will. This should almost always be done with the advice of a Fountain Valley, California attorney who specializes in these matters.
Living wills generally have to follow the same formalities as regular wills (the ones that distribute a person's property after their 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 certain document was intended to be a will).
Do I Need A Fountain Valley, California Living Will Attorney?
While not strictly necessary, a reliable estate-planning lawyer in Fountain Valley, California 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.