In Seattle, Washington 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 instance, some people would not want to be kept on life support if they are terminally ill, and have no reasonable chance at recovery. Others might want to be kept alive as long as medically allowed. If your family doesn't know what you would prefer, they might have to guess. Obviously, this can lead to severe disagreements, considering 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.).
Additionally, if family members have different 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 disputes are far less likely.
How to Create A Living Will in Seattle, Washington
Before starting the process, you should make your wishes extremely clear to your family. If your family is aware 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 should then actually draft the will. To be sure that it is valid, you should have the help of a Seattle, Washington attorney who specializes in wills.
Living wills usually 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 particular document was intended to be a will).
Do I Need A Seattle, Washington Living Will Attorney?
While not absolutely necessary, a brilliant estates attorney in Seattle, 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 allowed.