In Des Moines, Iowa a living will, also identified 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.
A living will can be indispensable to avoiding disagreements between family members who otherwise might not be cognizant of your preferences on this subject. Most people, of course, want to honor the wishes of a loved one. Nonetheless, if they don't know what that person would have wanted, disagreements can happen.
For example, 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. Nonetheless, there is no middle ground between the two. You likely want the peace of mind that comes with knowing that, if such a matter comes up, your wishes (whatever they are) will be honored.
Moreover, if family members have various 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 disagreements are far less likely.
How to Create A Living Will in Des Moines, Iowa
Before initiating the process, you should make your wishes quite clear to your family. If your family is cognizant 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 efficient Des Moines, Iowa attorney who practices health law or wills and trusts help you. Even though a simple living will is not terribly confusing, having professional assistance is always advisable.
In most states, the criteria for holding a living will to be valid are the same as those necessary for an ordinary will, at least with respect to the formalities that must be followed.
While these procedures are not identical between individual states, there are some common similarities. For instance, both testamentary and living wills typically need to be witnessed and signed by 2 people who have no direct interest in your will.
Do I Need A Des Moines, Iowa Living Will Attorney?
While not strictly necessary, a reliable estate-planning lawyer in Des Moines, Iowa can be extremely helpful in the process of drafting a living will. An attorney will know 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.