A living will in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania can also be referred to as a "healthcare directive." Whatever the name, it is a document that lays out a person's wishes with respect to their medical care, in case they become unable to make their own arrangements.
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 allowed. 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 judgment 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 Dauphin County, Pennsylvania
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 Dauphin County, Pennsylvania attorney who drafts wills.
In most states, a living will must follow all the procedures as testamentary wills (wills that dictate what is to be done with 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 critical 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 Dauphin County, Pennsylvania Living Will Attorney?
The help of a knowledgeable Dauphin County, Pennsylvania attorney is never a bad idea, even if it's not absolutely necessary. There are typically nuances in state and local law on this subject which laypersons will not be aware of, but with which an attorney will be intimately familiar.