In St. Augustine Beach, Florida 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.
This can be very valuable in avoiding disagreements between family members who otherwise might not know what your wishes on this subject are.
For instance, many people state that they would not want to be kept alive by artificial means if they are in a vegetative state, and have no decent chance of recovering. Others, however, would like to be kept alive if they have any chance, no matter how small, of recovery. If your wishes on this matter aren't known, your doctor or family members might have no idea what you would have wanted, and may make a determination that goes against your wishes.
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 St. Augustine Beach, Florida
First of all, you should talk with your spouse/life partner and members of your immediate family, to discuss your wishes in this matter. If the directives in your living will ever become necessary, the procedure will go much smoother for your loved ones if there are as few surprises as possible.
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 St. Augustine Beach, Florida 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 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 critical 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 St. Augustine Beach, Florida Living Will Attorney?
While not always necessary, a seasoned healthcare or wills attorney in St. Augustine Beach, Florida 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.