A living will in Columbia, Maryland, 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, 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 decent 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 determination that goes against your wishes.
This can lead to conflicts between loved ones, some of whom might want to keep the patient on life support, while others believe that he or she would not want to be kept alive in such a state. If the patient's wishes had been made clear beforehand in a legally-binding document, such infighting could be prevented.
How to Create A Living Will in Columbia, Maryland
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.
Now comes the part where you actually draft the living will. The process is likely to go much more smoothly if you enlist the help of an accomplished attorney in Columbia, Maryland who is experienced in drafting documents like this.
In order to be given effect, particular formalities have to be followed when drafting a living will. Normally, the requirements are identical, or very similar to, the requirements for regular wills.
These formalities vary from state to state, but wills normally have to be witnessed and signed by at least two people who do not have a direct interest in the matter. Furthermore, they should contain a clear statement indicating that the document is, in fact, a living will.
Do I Need A Columbia, Maryland Living Will Attorney?
While not strictly necessary, a seasoned estate-planning lawyer in Columbia, Maryland 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.