In Clark County, Washington a living will (also recognized 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, some people would not want to be kept on life support if they are terminally ill, and have no good chance at recovery. Others might want to be kept alive as long as medically feasible. If your family doesn't know what you would prefer, they might have to guess. Obviously, this can lead to severe disagreements, contemplating how emotional and final this decision is- there is no way to compromise between the two positions (a person can be kept on life support, or taken off of it; there isn't really any middle ground.).
If a person's preferences aren't known by his or her family, they might have to make an educated guess. Of course, with limited information, it's completely possible for 2 family members to come to two completely different conclusions, with no way of knowing which one is correct. Making your wishes known in advance can help you prevent all this.
How to Create A Living Will in Clark County, Washington
First of all, you should talk 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.
Now comes the part where you actually draft the living will. The process is likely to go much more smoothly if you enlist the help of a talented attorney in Clark County, Washington who is experienced in drafting documents like this.
Living wills generally have to follow the same formalities as regular wills (the ones that distribute a person's property after their death).
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 really are (so there can be no confusion as to whether or not a certain document was intended to be a will).
Do I Need A Clark County, Washington Living Will Attorney?
While not strictly necessary, a seasoned estate-planning lawyer in Clark County, Washington can be extremely helpful in the process of drafting a living will. An attorney will know 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.