In Sacramento County, 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 permitted. 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.).
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 totally possible for 2 family members to come to two totally 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 Sacramento County, California
Before you begin, you should make it very 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 knowledgeable attorney in Sacramento County, California who is experienced in drafting documents like this.
In order to be given effect, certain formalities have to be followed when drafting a living will. Usually, the requirements are identical, or very similar to, the requirements for regular wills.
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 Sacramento County, California Living Will Attorney?
While not strictly necessary, a reputable estate-planning lawyer in Sacramento County, 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.