A living will in Rochester, Massachusetts, occasionally referred to as a "healthcare directive" is a legal document instructing those concerned (family, doctors, etc.) on how you want to be viewed if you become unable to make your wishes known due to physical or mental incapacity.
This can be very valuable in avoiding disagreements between family members who otherwise might not know what your wishes on this subject are.
For instance, some people wish to be taken off of life support if they are in a permanent vegetative state, and their doctors believe that they have little to no chance of a meaningful recovery. Nonetheless, if this wish is not expressed in advance, it may be impossible to implement in the unfortunate event that it becomes relevant.
Furthermore, individual family members may not agree on what the patient would have wanted. Disagreements 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 normally be avoided.
How to Create A Living Will in Rochester, Massachusetts
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. Furthermore, 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 Rochester, Massachusetts attorney who specializes in these matters.
Living wills typically have to follow the same formalities as regular wills (the ones that distribute a person's property after their death).
While these protocols vary by state, there are a few elements that are quite typical. For example, in most states, wills have to be witnessed and signed by at least 2 people who have no direct share 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 Rochester, Massachusetts Living Will Attorney?
While not strictly necessary, a seasoned estate-planning lawyer in Rochester, Massachusetts can be extremely helpful in the process of drafting a living will. An attorney will know 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.