In El Paso County, Colorado a living will, also recognized 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 essential 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 severe 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 considerable 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 El Paso County, Colorado
Of course, your loved ones should be immersed in the process. They can't make these choices for you, but they'll probably be more willing to accept your decisions if they feel that their voices were heard. In any event, if your family knows 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 El Paso County, Colorado attorney who drafts wills.
In most states, a living will must follow all the protocols as testamentary wills (wills that dictate what is to be done with a person's property after their death).
While these protocols vary by state, there are a few elements that are quite common. For instance, in most states, wills have to be witnessed and signed by at least 2 people who have no direct stake in it. It's also essential 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 El Paso County, Colorado Living Will Attorney?
While not strictly necessary, a brilliant estate-planning lawyer in El Paso County, Colorado 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.