In Norfolk, Virginia a living will (also known as a "healthcare directive") is a document in which a person provides 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 important in avoiding painful, expensive, and time-consuming disputes between your family members.
For instance, 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. However, there is no middle ground between the two. You probably want the peace of mind that comes with knowing that, if such a situation comes up, your wishes (whatever they are) will be honored.
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 Norfolk, Virginia
Of course, your loved ones should be involved in the process. They can't make these decisions for you, but they'll probably be more willing to accept your decisions if they feel that their voices were heard. In any event, if your family knows what to expect when your living will is implemented, the process will probably be easier.
The next step in the process is to actually 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 seek the counsel of a Norfolk, Virginia attorney who drafts wills.
In most states, the requirements 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 actually 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 Norfolk, Virginia Living Will Attorney?
While not strictly necessary, a good estate-planning lawyer in Norfolk, Virginia 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.