In Arlington, Virginia a living will (also known as a "healthcare directive") is a document in which a person states instructions for their own medical care, in the event that they become unable to make their own decisions, or unable to express them.
A living will can be extremely significant in avoiding painful, expensive, and time-consuming disagreements between your family members.
For example, many people would never want to be kept alive by artificial means if they are in a vegetative state with no chance of recovery. Some, on the other hand, might want to be kept alive indefinitely, because of the slight chance of a miraculous recovery. Obviously, this is a personal decision, and one choice is not "better" than the other. Nonetheless, there is no middle ground between the two. You likely want the peace of mind that comes with knowing that, if such a situation comes up, your wishes (whatever they are) will be honored.
Furthermore, if family members have differing opinions of what the patient would want, this can give rise to infighting. Disagreements on such a painful subject can tear families apart. If the patient's wishes are made clear in advance, such arguments and disagreements are far less likely.
How to Create A Living Will in Arlington, Virginia
First of all, you should consult 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 procedure will go much smoother for your loved ones if there are as few surprises as possible.
You then need to actually draft your living will. This can be made much easier if you have an experienced Arlington, Virginia 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).
These formalities vary from state to state, but wills usually have to be witnessed and signed by at least two people who do not have a direct interest in the matter. Also, they should contain a clear statement indicating that the document is, in fact, a living will.
Do I Need A Arlington, Virginia Living Will Attorney?
While not completely necessary, a reputable estates attorney in Arlington, Virginia 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 permitted.