A living will in Dickinson, North Dakota 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.
Making a living will can save your family a great deal of grief. There are some pretty terrible instances that a living will can help you avoid. It's not uncommon for a patient to become incapacitated, leaving the doctors with only a few options. Members of your family might disagree over what you would want, leading to an extremely painful disagreement, which could have been easily avoided if they'd simply known.
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 severe 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.).
This can lead to arguments 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 avoided.
How to Create A Living Will in Dickinson, North Dakota
Before taking any steps to establish 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. 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 Dickinson, North Dakota attorney who practices health law or wills and trusts help you. Even though a simple living will is not terribly convoluted, having professional assistance is always advisable.
In most states, a living will must follow all the protocols as testamentary wills (wills that dictate what is to be done with a person's property after their death).
While these protocols 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 Dickinson, North Dakota Living Will Attorney?
While not strictly necessary, a brilliant estate-planning lawyer in Dickinson, North Dakota 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.