A living will in Dutchess County, New York 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.
This can be very advantageous in avoiding disputes between family members who otherwise might not know what your wishes on this subject are.
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.
If a person's preferences aren't known by his or her family, they might have to make an educated guess. Of course, with limited information, it's entirely possible for 2 family members to come to two entirely different conclusions, with no way of knowing which one is correct. Making your wishes known in advance can help you avoid all this.
How to Create A Living Will in Dutchess County, New York
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.
The next step in the process is to truly write the living will. While you might be able to draft a valid living will by yourself, to ensure that no problems come up after it's too late, you should pursue the counsel of a Dutchess County, New York attorney who drafts wills.
In most states, the criteria for holding a living will to be valid are the same as those required for an ordinary will, at least with respect to the formalities that must be followed.
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 truly 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 Dutchess County, New York Living Will Attorney?
While not strictly necessary, a knowledgeable estate-planning lawyer in Dutchess County, New York 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.