In West Des Moines, 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 decision that goes against your wishes.
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 damage to family relations. If the patient's wishes are made clear beforehand, these disputes can be avoided most of the time.
How to Create A Living Will in West Des Moines, 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 process will go much smoother for your loved ones if there are as few surprises as possible.
Now comes the part where you actually draft the living will. The process is likely to go much more smoothly if you enlist the help of a reliable attorney in West Des Moines, Iowa who is experienced in drafting documents like this.
In order to be given effect, certain formalities have to be followed when drafting a living will. Usually, the requirements are identical, or very similar to, the requirements for regular wills.
These formalities vary from state to state, but wills usually have to be witnessed and signed by at least two people who do not have a direct interest in the matter. Also, they should contain a clear statement indicating that the document is, in fact, a living will.
Do I Need A West Des Moines, Iowa Living Will Attorney?
While not absolutely necessary, a good estates attorney in West Des Moines, 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 possible.