A living will in California, Missouri, 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 significant 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.).

Moreover, if family members have various opinions of what the patient would want, this can give rise to infighting. Disagreements on such a painful subject can tear families apart. If the patient's wishes are made clear in advance, such arguments and disputes are far less likely.

How to Create A Living Will in California, Missouri

First of all, you should speak 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.

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 a accomplished attorney in California, Missouri who is experienced in drafting documents like this.

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 required procedures vary by state, there are a few common elements. For example, most wills and living wills need to be witnessed and signed by 2 people who have no direct interest in the subject matter.

Do I Need A California, Missouri Living Will Attorney?

While not absolutely necessary, a knowledgeable estates attorney in California, Missouri 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 allowed.