In Norwalk, 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 example, 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 reasonable 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 judgment that goes against your wishes.

This can lead to arguments 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 avoided.

How to Create A Living Will in Norwalk, 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 Norwalk, 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.

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

While these required formalities vary by state, there are a few common elements. For example, most wills and living wills need to be witnessed and signed by 2 people who have no direct interest in the subject matter.

Do I Need A Norwalk, Iowa Living Will Attorney?

While not absolutely necessary, a good estates attorney in Norwalk, Iowa can be very helpful in drafting a living will. A lawyer will understand the intricacies of state and local law, and can craft a document around those laws, to ensure that your wishes are followed, to the extent allowed.