A living will in Madison, South Dakota 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 decisions.
A living will might prove crucial in heading off painful and time-consuming disputes among family members. If your family has no clue as to how you would want a given situation to be handled, it's up to them to guess. Obviously, this can lead to serious disagreements. If family members know in advance what the patient wants, these disputes are far less likely.
For example, 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. However, 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. Disputes 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 Madison, South 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. 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 should then go about drafting the will. This should almost always be done with the help of a Madison, South Dakota attorney who specializes in these matters.
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 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 Madison, South Dakota Living Will Attorney?
While not strictly necessary, a good estate-planning lawyer in Madison, South 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.