In Douglas County, Colorado 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 instance, some people don't want to be kept on life support if they are in a vegetative state with no considerable chance of recovery. Others, however, might prefer to be kept alive as long as humanly permitted. 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 determination that the patient would never have wanted.
This can lead to conflicts 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 prevented.
How to Create A Living Will in Douglas County, Colorado
Of course, your loved ones should be immersed in the process. They can't make these choices for you, but they'll likely be more willing to accept your decisions if they feel that their voices were heard. In any event, if your family understands what to expect when your living will is executed, the process will probably be easier.
The next step in the process is to really 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 obtain the counsel of a Douglas County, Colorado attorney who drafts wills.
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 necessary 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 Douglas County, Colorado Living Will Attorney?
The assistance of a seasoned Douglas County, Colorado attorney is never a bad idea, even if it's not absolutely necessary. There are normally nuances in state and local law on this subject which laypersons will not be aware of, but with which an attorney will be intimately familiar.