In Des Plaines, 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 Des Plaines, Illinois
Before taking any steps to formulate 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 should then go about drafting the will. This should almost always be done with the guidance of a Des Plaines, Illinois attorney who specializes in these matters.
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 Des Plaines, Illinois Living Will Attorney?
While not completely necessary, a reputable estates attorney in Des Plaines, Illinois 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 permitted.