A living will in Somerville, Massachusetts, 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.
This can be very advantageous in avoiding disputes between family members who otherwise might not know what your wishes on this subject are.
For example, 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. However, if this wish is not expressed in advance, it may be impossible to implement in the unfortunate event that it becomes relevant.
Additionally, 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 typically be avoided.
How to Create A Living Will in Somerville, Massachusetts
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. Additionally, implementing a living will can be much easier if the family already knows what it says, with the document simply making it legally-binding.
The next step in the process is to truly write the living will. While you might be able to draft a valid living will by yourself, to ensure that no problems come up after it's too late, you should pursue the counsel of a Somerville, Massachusetts attorney who drafts wills.
In order to be given effect, specific formalities have to be followed when drafting a living will. Typically, the requirements are identical, or very similar to, the requirements for regular wills.
While these procedures 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 crucial 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 Somerville, Massachusetts Living Will Attorney?
While not strictly necessary, a knowledgeable estate-planning lawyer in Somerville, Massachusetts 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.