In Westminster, California a living will, also recognized 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 essential 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 severe 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 severe 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.).
Furthermore, 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 normally be avoided.
How to Create A Living Will in Westminster, California
Before you begin, you should make it extremely 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 understands what to expect.
You then need to actually draft your living will. This can be made much easier if you have an accomplished Westminster, California attorney who practices health law or wills and trusts help you. Even though a simple living will is not terribly difficult, having professional assistance is always advisable.
Typically, 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 protocols 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 crucial 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 Westminster, California Living Will Attorney?
While not always necessary, a seasoned healthcare or wills attorney in Westminster, California can make this process much easier. Lawyers, obviously, understand the law. Because of this, it is much easier for them to prevent the legal pitfalls that can make a living will unenforceable.