A living will in St. Joseph, Missouri is sometimes called a "healthcare directive" or something similar. But whatever you call it, it's a legally-binding document which provides instructions for your family members as well as you doctors on how you want end-of-life medical care to be handled. It lets them know in advance what you want.
A living will can be extremely important in avoiding painful, expensive, and time-consuming disputes between your family members.
For instance, many people would never want to be kept alive by artificial means if they are in a vegetative state with no chance of recovery. Some, on the other hand, might want to be kept alive indefinitely, because of the slight chance of a miraculous recovery. Obviously, this is a personal decision, and one choice is not "better" than the other. However, there is no middle ground between the two. You probably want the peace of mind that comes with knowing that, if such a situation comes up, your wishes (whatever they are) will be honored.
Also, individual family members may not agree on what the patient would have wanted. Disputes 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 usually be avoided.
How to Create A Living Will in St. Joseph, Missouri
Of course, your loved ones should be involved in the process. They can't make these decisions for you, but they'll probably be more willing to accept your decisions if they feel that their voices were heard. In any event, if your family knows what to expect when your living will is implemented, the process will probably be easier.
You should then actually draft the will. To be sure that it is valid, you should have the help of a St. Joseph, Missouri attorney who specializes in wills.
In most states, a living will must follow all the formalities as testamentary wills (wills that dictate what is to be done with a person's property after their death).
In general, wills of any type (testamentary or living) have to be signed by 2 people who witnessed it being signed by the person who the will is for. They must also contain a clear provision saying what they actually are (so there can be no confusion as to whether or not a particular document was intended to be a will).
Do I Need A St. Joseph, Missouri Living Will Attorney?
While not strictly necessary, a good estate-planning lawyer in St. Joseph, Missouri can be extremely helpful in the process of drafting a living will. An attorney will understand 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.