In West Hollywood, 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.).
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 West Hollywood, California
Before you begin, you should make it quite clear to your family members what your wishes on this subject are. If it ever becomes necessary to implement a living will, the process will likely be simpler if your family already knows what to expect.
You should then actually draft the will. To be sure that it is valid, you should have the help of a West Hollywood, California attorney who specializes in wills.
In most states, a living will must follow all the procedures as testamentary wills (wills that dictate what is to be done with a person's property after their death).
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 West Hollywood, California Living Will Attorney?
While not strictly necessary, a knowledgeable estate-planning lawyer in West Hollywood, California can be extremely helpful in the process of drafting a living will. An attorney will understand the intricacies of local law, and will help you draft a document that, to the extent possible, will ensure that your wishes with respect to your own healthcare are followed.