A living will in Durham County, North Carolina 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 example, some people don't want to be kept on life support if they are in a vegetative state with no substantial chance of recovery. Others, however, might prefer to be kept alive as long as humanly possible. 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 decision that the patient would never have wanted.
Even worse, individual family members might not be able to agree about what your wishes would be. Disagreements on a subject like this can cut very deep, and cause irreparable damage to family relations. If the patient's wishes are made clear beforehand, these disputes can be avoided most of the time.
How to Create A Living Will in Durham County, North Carolina
Before taking any steps to implement 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 probably appreciate having their opinions heard. Additionally, implementing a living will can be much easier if the family already knows what it says, with the document simply making it legally-binding.
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 qualified attorney in Durham County, North Carolina who is experienced in drafting documents like this.
Living wills often have to follow the same formalities as regular wills (the ones that distribute a person's property after their death).
While these procedures 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 necessary 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 Durham County, North Carolina Living Will Attorney?
While not strictly necessary, a knowledgeable estate-planning lawyer in Durham County, North Carolina 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.