In Ankeny, Iowa a living will, also known 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 can be indispensable to avoiding disputes between family members who otherwise might not be aware of your preferences on this subject. Most people, of course, want to honor the wishes of a loved one. However, if they don't know what that person would have wanted, disagreements can occur.

For instance, many people would never want to be kept alive by artificial means if they are in a vegetative state with no chance of recovery. Some, on the other hand, might want to be kept alive indefinitely, because of the slight chance of a miraculous recovery. Obviously, this is a personal decision, and one choice is not "better" than the other. However, there is no middle ground between the two. You probably want the peace of mind that comes with knowing that, if such a situation comes up, your wishes (whatever they are) will be honored.

Furthermore, if family members have differing opinions of what the patient would want, this can give rise to infighting. Disagreements on such a painful subject can tear families apart. If the patient's wishes are made clear in advance, such arguments and disputes are far less likely.

How to Create A Living Will in Ankeny, Iowa

First of all, you should consult 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 process will go much smoother for your loved ones if there are as few surprises as possible.

You should then actually draft the will. To be sure that it is valid, you should have the help of a Ankeny, Iowa attorney who specializes in wills.

Living wills usually have to follow the same formalities as regular wills (the ones that distribute a person's property after their death).

In general, wills of any type (testamentary or living) have to be signed by 2 people who witnessed it being signed by the person who the will is for. They must also contain a clear provision saying what they actually are (so there can be no confusion as to whether or not a particular document was intended to be a will).

Do I Need A Ankeny, Iowa Living Will Attorney?

While not strictly necessary, a good estate-planning lawyer in Ankeny, Iowa 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.