In Stockton, California a living will, also known 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 crucial 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 serious 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 serious 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.).
Also, 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 usually be avoided.
How to Create A Living Will in Stockton, California
First of all, you should consult 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 experienced Stockton, California attorney who practices health law or wills and trusts help you. Even though a simple living will is not terribly perplexing, having professional assistance is always advisable.
Living wills generally have to follow the same formalities as regular wills (the ones that distribute a person's property after their death).
While these formalities vary by state, there are a few elements that are quite typical. For example, in most states, wills have to be witnessed and signed by at least 2 people who have no direct share in it. It's also critical to avoid any disputes or confusion as to whether or not a particular document was intended to be a will. A clear statement to that effect should be the first paragraph in any type of will.
Do I Need A Stockton, California Living Will Attorney?
While it's not strictly obligated, it can be very helpful to have the counsel of an experienced Stockton, California attorney. A reputable lawyer will help you navigate the local laws on this subject, making it much easier for your wishes to be implemented.