In Novato, California a living will, also known 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 crucial 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 serious disagreements. If family members know in advance what the patient wants, these disputes are far less likely.
For example, some people would not want to be kept on life support if they are terminally ill, and have no good chance at recovery. Others might want to be kept alive as long as medically feasible. If your family doesn't know what you would prefer, they might have to guess. Obviously, this can lead to serious disagreements, contemplating 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 disagreements 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 prevented.
How to Create A Living Will in Novato, California
Before initiating the process, you should make your wishes very 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 actually draft the will. To be sure that it is valid, you should have the assistance of a Novato, California attorney who specializes in wills.
Generally, living wills need to follow the same formalities as testamentary wills (wills that dictate how one's property is to be distributed after death).
These formalities vary from state to state, but wills usually have to be witnessed and signed by at least two people who do not have a direct interest in the matter. Also, they should contain a clear statement indicating that the document is, in fact, a living will.
Do I Need A Novato, California Living Will Attorney?
While not completely necessary, a reputable estates attorney in Novato, California can be very helpful in drafting a living will. A lawyer will understand the intricacies of state and local law, and can craft a document around those laws, to ensure that your wishes are followed, to the extent feasible.