In Snohomish County, 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 possible. 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 Snohomish County, 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 then need to actually draft your living will. This can be made much easier if you have an accomplished Snohomish County, Washington attorney who practices health law or wills and trusts help you. Even though a simple living will is not terribly convoluted, having professional assistance is always advisable.
Typically, living wills need to follow the same formalities as testamentary wills (wills that dictate how one's property is to be distributed after death).
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 crucial 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 Snohomish County, Washington Living Will Attorney?
While it's not strictly required, it can be very helpful to have the counsel of an accomplished Snohomish County, Washington attorney. A brilliant lawyer will help you navigate the local laws on this subject, making it much easier for your wishes to be implemented.