A living will in Park Ridge, Illinois, sometimes referred to as a "healthcare directive" is a legal document instructing those concerned (family, doctors, etc.) on how you want to be treated if you become unable to make your wishes known due to physical or mental incapacity.
A living will can be extremely important in avoiding painful, expensive, and time-consuming disputes between your family members.
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.
Also, individual family members may not agree on what the patient would have wanted. Disputes on this subject can be profound, and can cause irreversible damage to family relationships. But if the patient's wishes are made clear in advance, these fights can usually be avoided.
How to Create A Living Will in Park Ridge, 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 Park Ridge, 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 formalities vary by state, there are a few elements that are quite common. For instance, in most states, wills have to be witnessed and signed by at least 2 people who have no direct stake in it. It's also necessary to avoid any disputes or confusion as to whether or not a particular document was intended to be a will. A clear statement to that effect should be the first paragraph in any type of will.
Do I Need A Park Ridge, Illinois Living Will Attorney?
While not strictly necessary, a good estate-planning lawyer in Park Ridge, 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.