In San Jose, 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, 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 severe 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 completely possible for 2 family members to come to two completely 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 San Jose, California
Before initiating the process, you should make your wishes extremely 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 go about drafting the will. This should almost always be done with the advice of a San Jose, California attorney who specializes in these matters.
In order to be given effect, particular formalities have to be followed when drafting a living will. Normally, the requirements are identical, or very similar to, the requirements for regular wills.
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 San Jose, California Living Will Attorney?
While not strictly necessary, a seasoned estate-planning lawyer in San Jose, 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.