A living will in Virginia, Minnesota, 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.
A living will can be indispensable to avoiding disputes between family members who otherwise might not be aware of your preferences on this subject. Most people, of course, want to honor the wishes of a loved one. However, if they don't know what that person would have wanted, disagreements can occur.
For instance, some people would not want to be kept on life support if they are terminally ill, and have no reasonable chance at recovery. Others might want to be kept alive as long as medically allowed. If your family doesn't know what you would prefer, they might have to guess. Obviously, this can lead to serious disagreements, considering how emotional and final this decision is- there is no way to compromise between the two positions (a person can be kept on life support, or taken off of it; there isn't really any middle ground.).
If a person's preferences aren't known by his or her family, they might have to make an educated guess. Of course, with limited information, it's totally possible for 2 family members to come to two totally different conclusions, with no way of knowing which one is correct. Making your wishes known in advance can help you avoid all this.
How to Create A Living Will in Virginia, Minnesota
First of all, you should consult with your spouse/life partner and members of your immediate family, to discuss your wishes in this matter. If the directives in your living will ever become necessary, the process will go much smoother for your loved ones if there are as few surprises as possible.
You then need to actually draft your living will. This can be made much easier if you have an experienced Virginia, Minnesota attorney who practices health law or wills and trusts help you. Even though a simple living will is not terribly complicated, having professional assistance is always advisable.
Living wills usually 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 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 Virginia, Minnesota Living Will Attorney?
While it's not strictly required, it can be very helpful to have the counsel of an experienced Virginia, Minnesota attorney. A good lawyer will help you navigate the local laws on this subject, making it much easier for your wishes to be implemented.