In Santa Clara County, California a living will, also known 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 crucial 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 serious 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 serious 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.).
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 avoid all this.
How to Create A Living Will in Santa Clara County, California
Before starting the process, you should make your wishes very clear to your family. If your family is aware 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.
The next step in the process is to actually write the living will. While you might be able to draft a valid living will by yourself, to ensure that no problems come up after it's too late, you should seek the counsel of a Santa Clara County, California attorney who drafts wills.
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.
While these requirements are not identical between individual states, there are some common similarities. For example, both testamentary and living wills usually need to be witnessed and signed by 2 people who have no direct interest in your will.
Do I Need A Santa Clara County, California Living Will Attorney?
While not absolutely necessary, a good estates attorney in Santa Clara County, 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 possible.