In Merced 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, some people would not want to be kept on life support if they are terminally ill, and have no reasonable chance at recovery. Others might want to be kept alive as long as medically possible. If your family doesn't know what you would prefer, they might have to guess. Obviously, this can lead to significant disagreements, considering how emotional and final this decision is- there is no way to compromise between the two positions (a person can be kept on life support, or taken off of it; there isn't really any middle ground.).
This can lead to fighting 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 avoided.
How to Create A Living Will in Merced County, California
Before taking any steps to implement a living will, you should make your wishes known to your family. While it's ultimately your decision (and your family will probably recognize that), they will probably appreciate having their opinions heard. Additionally, implementing a living will can be much easier if the family already knows what it says, with the document simply making it legally-binding.
You then need to actually draft your living will. This can be made much easier if you have an efficient Merced County, California attorney who practices health law or wills and trusts help you. Even though a simple living will is not terribly intricate, having professional assistance is always advisable.
Usually, living wills need to follow the same formalities as testamentary wills (wills that dictate how one's property is to be distributed after death).
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 Merced County, California Living Will Attorney?
The help of a knowledgeable Merced County, California attorney is never a bad idea, even if it's not absolutely necessary. There are typically nuances in state and local law on this subject which laypersons will not be aware of, but with which an attorney will be intimately familiar.