In St. Helena, 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 allowed. 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.).
Additionally, individual family members may not agree on what the patient would have wanted. Disputes on this subject can be profound, and can cause irreversible damage to family relationships. But if the patient's wishes are made clear in advance, these fights can typically be avoided.
How to Create A Living Will in St. Helena, California
First of all, you should speak with your spouse/life partner and members of your immediate family, to discuss your wishes in this matter. If the directives in your living will ever become necessary, the process will go much smoother for your loved ones if there are as few surprises as possible.
You then need to actually draft your living will. This can be made much easier if you have an efficient St. Helena, 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.
In most states, the criteria for holding a living will to be valid are the same as those required for an ordinary will, at least with respect to the formalities that must be followed.
While these required procedures vary by state, there are a few common elements. For example, most wills and living wills need to be witnessed and signed by 2 people who have no direct interest in the subject matter.
Do I Need A St. Helena, California Living Will Attorney?
While not always necessary, a knowledgeable healthcare or wills attorney in St. Helena, 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.