In Riverside County, 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, 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 significant 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.).
If a person's preferences aren't known by his or her family, they might have to make an educated guess. Of course, with limited information, it's entirely possible for 2 family members to come to two entirely different conclusions, with no way of knowing which one is correct. Making your wishes known in advance can help you prevent all this.
How to Create A Living Will in Riverside 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 understands what to expect.
Now comes the part where you actually draft the living will. The process is likely to go much more smoothly if you enlist the help of a reliable attorney in Riverside County, California who is experienced in drafting documents like this.
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).
These formalities vary from state to state, but wills typically have to be witnessed and signed by at least two people who do not have a direct interest in the matter. Additionally, they should contain a clear statement indicating that the document is, in fact, a living will.
Do I Need A Riverside County, California Living Will Attorney?
While it's not strictly obligated, it can be very helpful to have the counsel of an efficient Riverside County, California attorney. A reliable lawyer will help you navigate the local laws on this subject, making it much easier for your wishes to be implemented.