In Stanislaus County, California a living will, also identified 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 necessary 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 significant 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 significant 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.).
Additionally, individual family members may not agree on what the patient would have wanted. Disagreements 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 Stanislaus County, 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 procedure 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 Stanislaus County, California attorney who practices health law or wills and trusts help you. Even though a simple living will is not terribly confusing, having professional assistance is always advisable.
In most states, the criteria for holding a living will to be valid are the same as those necessary for an ordinary will, at least with respect to the formalities that must be followed.
These formalities vary from state to state, but wills typically have to be witnessed and signed by at least two people who do not have a direct interest in the matter. Additionally, they should contain a clear statement indicating that the document is, in fact, a living will.
Do I Need A Stanislaus County, California Living Will Attorney?
While it's not strictly obligated, it can be very helpful to have the counsel of an efficient Stanislaus County, California attorney. A reliable lawyer will help you navigate the local laws on this subject, making it much easier for your wishes to be implemented.