In Decorah, 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 Decorah, Iowa
Before starting the process, you should make your wishes very clear to your family. If your family is aware of your wishes well in advance, it will probably be much easier for them to accept the provisions in your living will, even if they don't agree with them.
You then need to actually draft your living will. This can be made much easier if you have an experienced Decorah, Iowa attorney who practices health law or wills and trusts help you. Even though a simple living will is not terribly complicated, having professional assistance is always advisable.
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 formalities 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 important 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 Decorah, Iowa Living Will Attorney?
While it's not strictly required, it can be very helpful to have the counsel of an experienced Decorah, Iowa attorney. A good lawyer will help you navigate the local laws on this subject, making it much easier for your wishes to be implemented.