In Estherville, Iowa 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.

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 situation comes up, your wishes (whatever they are) will be honored.

Even worse, individual family members might not be able to agree about what your wishes would be. Disagreements on a subject like this can cut very deep, and cause irreparable harm to family relations. If the patient's wishes are made clear beforehand, these disagreements can be prevented most of the time.

How to Create A Living Will in Estherville, 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 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 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 a Estherville, Iowa attorney who drafts wills.

In most states, a living will must follow all the formalities as testamentary wills (wills that dictate what is to be done with a person's property after their death).

While these formalities 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 crucial 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 Estherville, Iowa Living Will Attorney?

While not strictly necessary, a reputable estate-planning lawyer in Estherville, 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.