In Kern County, 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.
Additionally, individual family members may not agree on what the patient would have wanted. Disputes on this subject can be profound, and can cause irreversible damage to family relationships. But if the patient's wishes are made clear in advance, these fights can typically be avoided.
How to Create A Living Will in Kern County, California
Before you begin, you should make it quite 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 go about drafting the will. This should almost always be done with the help of a Kern County, California attorney who specializes in these matters.
In order to be given effect, specific formalities have to be followed when drafting a living will. Typically, the requirements are identical, or very similar to, the requirements for regular wills.
While these requirements are not identical between individual states, there are some common similarities. For example, both testamentary and living wills typically need to be witnessed and signed by 2 people who have no direct interest in your will.
Do I Need A Kern County, California Living Will Attorney?
While not strictly necessary, a knowledgeable estate-planning lawyer in Kern County, California can be extremely helpful in the process of drafting a living will. An attorney will understand 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.