In Linn County, 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 instance, many people state that they would not want to be kept alive by artificial means if they are in a vegetative state, and have no decent chance of recovering. Others, however, would like to be kept alive if they have any chance, no matter how small, of recovery. If your wishes on this matter aren't known, your doctor or family members might have no idea what you would have wanted, and may make a choice that goes against your wishes.
This can lead to disagreements 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 Linn County, Iowa
Before taking any steps to create 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.
You then need to actually draft your living will. This can be made much easier if you have an experienced Linn County, Iowa attorney who practices health law or wills and trusts help you. Even though a simple living will is not terribly perplexing, having professional assistance is always advisable.
Living wills generally have to follow the same formalities as regular wills (the ones that distribute 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 essential 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 Linn County, Iowa Living Will Attorney?
While it's not strictly obligated, it can be very helpful to have the counsel of an experienced Linn County, Iowa attorney. A reputable lawyer will help you navigate the local laws on this subject, making it much easier for your wishes to be implemented.