In Burlington, Vermont a living will (also recognized 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 example, many people state that they would not want to be kept alive by artificial means if they are in a vegetative state, and have no reasonable chance of recovering. Others, however, would like to be kept alive if they have any chance, no matter how small, of recovery. If your wishes on this matter aren't known, your doctor or family members might have no idea what you would have wanted, and may make a decision that goes against your wishes.
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 Burlington, Vermont
Before taking any steps to implement 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. Furthermore, implementing a living will can be much easier if the family already knows what it says, with the document simply making it legally-binding.
The next step in the process is to really 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 obtain the counsel of a Burlington, Vermont attorney who drafts wills.
In order to be given effect, particular formalities have to be followed when drafting a living will. Normally, the requirements are identical, or very similar to, the requirements for regular wills.
While these protocols 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 essential 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 Burlington, Vermont Living Will Attorney?
While it's not strictly required, it can be very helpful to have the counsel of an accomplished Burlington, Vermont attorney. A brilliant lawyer will help you navigate the local laws on this subject, making it much easier for your wishes to be implemented.