In East Alton, Illinois 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 instance, some people would not want to be kept on life support if they are terminally ill, and have no reasonable chance at recovery. Others might want to be kept alive as long as medically possible. If your family doesn't know what you would prefer, they might have to guess. Obviously, this can lead to serious disagreements, considering 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 disputes are far less likely.
How to Create A Living Will in East Alton, Illinois
Before taking any steps to implement 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 probably 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 East Alton, Illinois 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 often have to follow the same formalities as regular wills (the ones that distribute a person's property after their death).
While these requirements are not identical between individual states, there are some common similarities. For example, both testamentary and living wills usually need to be witnessed and signed by 2 people who have no direct interest in your will.
Do I Need A East Alton, Illinois Living Will Attorney?
While not strictly necessary, a good estate-planning lawyer in East Alton, Illinois can be extremely helpful in the process of drafting a living will. An attorney will understand the intricacies of local law, and will help you draft a document that, to the extent possible, will ensure that your wishes with respect to your own healthcare are followed.