In Columbia, Illinois 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, some people would not want to be kept on life support if they are terminally ill, and have no good chance at recovery. Others might want to be kept alive as long as medically permitted. If your family doesn't know what you would prefer, they might have to guess. Obviously, this can lead to serious disagreements, contemplating how emotional and final this decision is- there is no way to compromise between the two positions (a person can be kept on life support, or taken off of it; there isn't really any middle ground.).
Furthermore, if family members have differing 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 Columbia, Illinois
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.
You should then actually draft the will. To be sure that it is valid, you should have the assistance of a Columbia, Illinois attorney who specializes in 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).
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 Columbia, Illinois Living Will Attorney?
While not always necessary, a reputable healthcare or wills attorney in Columbia, Illinois can make this process much easier. Lawyers, obviously, understand the law. Because of this, it is much easier for them to prevent the legal pitfalls that can make a living will unenforceable.