A living will in Austin, Texas 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 might prove necessary 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 significant disagreements. If family members know in advance what the patient wants, these disputes are far less likely.
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.
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 Austin, Texas
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. Additionally, 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 efficient Austin, Texas attorney who practices health law or wills and trusts help you. Even though a simple living will is not terribly intricate, having professional assistance is always advisable.
Usually, living wills need to follow the same formalities as testamentary wills (wills that dictate how one's property is to be distributed after death).
These formalities vary from state to state, but wills typically have to be witnessed and signed by at least two people who do not have a direct interest in the matter. Additionally, they should contain a clear statement indicating that the document is, in fact, a living will.
Do I Need A Austin, Texas Living Will Attorney?
While not absolutely necessary, a knowledgeable estates attorney in Austin, Texas can be very helpful in drafting a living will. A lawyer will understand the intricacies of state and local law, and can craft a document around those laws, to ensure that your wishes are followed, to the extent allowed.