A living will in Lewiston, 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, some people don't want to be kept on life support if they are in a vegetative state with no considerable chance of recovery. Others, however, might prefer to be kept alive as long as humanly permitted. Another person's wishes might be something in between. In any case, if the family doesn't know what their loved one's wishes are, they may have to guess, which could lead to them making a determination that the patient would never have wanted.
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 Lewiston, 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 then need to actually draft your living will. This can be made much easier if you have an accomplished Lewiston, Maine attorney who practices health law or wills and trusts help you. Even though a simple living will is not terribly difficult, having professional assistance is always advisable.
Typically, living wills need to follow the same formalities as testamentary wills (wills that dictate how one's property is to be distributed after death).
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 Lewiston, Maine Living Will Attorney?
While not completely necessary, a seasoned estates attorney in Lewiston, 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.