A living will in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, 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.
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 Cape Elizabeth, Maine
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 Cape Elizabeth, Maine attorney who specializes in these matters.
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 Cape Elizabeth, Maine Living Will Attorney?
While not completely necessary, a seasoned estates attorney in Cape Elizabeth, Maine can be very helpful in drafting a living will. A lawyer will understand the intricacies of state and local law, and can craft a document around those laws, to ensure that your wishes are followed, to the extent permitted.