In Santa Rosa, California a living will, also identified 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 necessary 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 significant 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 significant 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 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 avoid all this.
How to Create A Living Will in Santa Rosa, California
Before starting the process, you should make your wishes quite 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.
You then need to actually draft your living will. This can be made much easier if you have an efficient Santa Rosa, California attorney who practices health law or wills and trusts help you. Even though a simple living will is not terribly intricate, having professional assistance is always advisable.
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).
While these requirements are not identical between individual states, there are some common similarities. For example, both testamentary and living wills typically need to be witnessed and signed by 2 people who have no direct interest in your will.
Do I Need A Santa Rosa, California Living Will Attorney?
While not always necessary, a knowledgeable healthcare or wills attorney in Santa Rosa, California can make this process much easier. Lawyers, obviously, understand the law. Because of this, it is much easier for them to avoid the legal pitfalls that can make a living will unenforceable.