In Athens, Georgia a living will, also known 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 helpful in avoiding disagreements between family members who otherwise might not know what your wishes on this subject are.
For instance, some people don't want to be kept on life support if they are in a vegetative state with no significant 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 Athens, Georgia
Before taking any steps to formulate 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 likely appreciate having their opinions heard. Also, 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 actually 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 seek the counsel of an Athens, Georgia attorney who drafts wills.
Generally, 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 procedures are not identical between individual states, there are some common similarities. For instance, both testamentary and living wills usually need to be witnessed and signed by 2 people who have no direct interest in your will.
Do I Need A Athens, Georgia Living Will Attorney?
The assistance of a reputable Athens, Georgia attorney is never a bad idea, even if it's not absolutely necessary. There are usually 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.