A living will in Southwick, 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 helpful 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.
Also, 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 usually be avoided.
How to Create A Living Will in Southwick, 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. 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 Southwick, Massachusetts attorney who practices health law or wills and trusts help you. Even though a simple living will is not terribly perplexing, having professional assistance is always advisable.
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 formalities 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 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 Southwick, Massachusetts Living Will Attorney?
While not always necessary, a reputable healthcare or wills attorney in Southwick, Massachusetts can make this process much easier. Lawyers, obviously, understand the law. Because of this, it is much easier for them to prevent the legal pitfalls that can make a living will unenforceable.