In King County, Washington a living will (also identified 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 permitted. If your family doesn't know what you would prefer, they might have to guess. Obviously, this can lead to significant 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 entirely possible for 2 family members to come to two entirely 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 King County, Washington
Before initiating the process, you should make your wishes quite clear to your family. If your family is cognizant of your wishes well in advance, it will probably be much easier for them to accept the provisions in your living will, even if they don't agree with them.
You then need to actually draft your living will. This can be made much easier if you have an efficient King County, Washington attorney who practices health law or wills and trusts help you. Even though a simple living will is not terribly confusing, 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 King County, Washington Living Will Attorney?
While not completely necessary, a reliable estates attorney in King County, Washington 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.