In Charleston, West Virginia 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.
Making a living will can save your family a great deal of grief. There are some pretty terrible instances that a living will can help you avoid. It's not uncommon for a patient to become incapacitated, leaving the doctors with only a few options. Members of your family might disagree over what you would want, leading to an extremely painful disagreement, which could have been easily avoided if they'd simply known.
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 judgment 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 Charleston, West Virginia
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 process will go much smoother for your loved ones if there are as few surprises as possible.
You should then actually draft the will. To be sure that it is valid, you should have the help of a Charleston, West Virginia attorney who specializes in wills.
In most states, a living will must follow all the protocols as testamentary wills (wills that dictate what is to be done with a person's property after their death).
These formalities vary from state to state, but wills normally have to be witnessed and signed by at least two people who do not have a direct interest in the matter. Furthermore, they should contain a clear statement indicating that the document is, in fact, a living will.
Do I Need A Charleston, West Virginia Living Will Attorney?
While not strictly necessary, a brilliant estate-planning lawyer in Charleston, West Virginia can be extremely helpful in the process of drafting a living will. An attorney will understand 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.