A living will in Summit, New Jersey is sometimes called a "healthcare directive" or something comparable. But whatever you call it, it's a legally-binding document which provides directions 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.
This can be very helpful in avoiding disagreements between family members who otherwise might not know what your wishes on this subject are.
For instance, some people wish to be taken off of life support if they are in a permanent vegetative state, and their doctors believe that they have little to no chance of a meaningful recovery. Nonetheless, if this wish is not expressed in advance, it may be impossible to implement in the unfortunate event that it becomes relevant.
Also, individual family members may not agree on what the patient would have wanted. Disagreements 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 Summit, New Jersey
Before taking any steps to formulate 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 likely appreciate having their opinions heard. Also, 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 experienced Summit, New Jersey attorney who practices health law or wills and trusts help you. Even though a simple living will is not terribly perplexing, having professional assistance is always advisable.
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).
While these formalities vary by state, there are a few elements that are quite typical. For example, in most states, wills have to be witnessed and signed by at least 2 people who have no direct share in it. It's also essential 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 Summit, New Jersey Living Will Attorney?
While not strictly necessary, a reputable estate-planning lawyer in Summit, New Jersey can be extremely helpful in the process of drafting a living will. An attorney will know 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.