In Los Angeles, 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.
Furthermore, individual family members may not agree on what the patient would have wanted. Disagreements 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 normally be avoided.
How to Create A Living Will in Los Angeles, California
Of course, your loved ones should be immersed in the process. They can't make these choices for you, but they'll likely be more willing to accept your decisions if they feel that their voices were heard. In any event, if your family understands what to expect when your living will is executed, the process will probably be easier.
You should then actually draft the will. To be sure that it is valid, you should have the assistance of a Los Angeles, California attorney who specializes in wills.
Living wills typically have to follow the same formalities as regular wills (the ones that distribute a person's property after their death).
While these procedures are not identical between individual states, there are some common similarities. For instance, both testamentary and living wills normally need to be witnessed and signed by 2 people who have no direct interest in your will.
Do I Need A Los Angeles, California Living Will Attorney?
While not strictly necessary, a seasoned estate-planning lawyer in Los Angeles, 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.