In Winters, 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 example, some people don't want to be kept on life support if they are in a vegetative state with no substantial chance of recovery. Others, however, might prefer to be kept alive as long as humanly possible. Another person's wishes might be something in between. In any case, if the family doesn't know what their loved one's wishes are, they may have to guess, which could lead to them making a decision that the patient would never have wanted.
This can lead to fighting between loved ones, some of whom might want to keep the patient on life support, while others believe that he or she would not want to be kept alive in such a state. If the patient's wishes had been made clear beforehand in a legally-binding document, such infighting could be avoided.
How to Create A Living Will in Winters, California
Before taking any steps to implement a living will, you should make your wishes known to your family. While it's ultimately your decision (and your family will probably recognize that), they will probably appreciate having their opinions heard. Additionally, implementing a living will can be much easier if the family already knows what it says, with the document simply making it legally-binding.
The next step in the process is to truly write the living will. While you might be able to draft a valid living will by yourself, to ensure that no problems come up after it's too late, you should pursue the counsel of a Winters, California attorney who drafts wills.
In order to be given effect, specific formalities have to be followed when drafting a living will. Typically, the requirements are identical, or very similar to, the requirements for regular wills.
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 Winters, California Living Will Attorney?
While not absolutely necessary, a knowledgeable estates attorney in Winters, California can be very helpful in drafting a living will. A lawyer will understand the intricacies of state and local law, and can craft a document around those laws, to ensure that your wishes are followed, to the extent possible.