In Parkersburg, West Virginia 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.
Making a living will can save your family a great deal of grief. There are some pretty terrible cases 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 conflict, which could have been easily avoided if they'd simply known.
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 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.).
This can lead to disagreements between loved ones, some of whom might want to keep the patient on life support, while others believe that he or she would not want to be kept alive in such a state. If the patient's wishes had been made clear beforehand in a legally-binding document, such infighting could be prevented.
How to Create A Living Will in Parkersburg, West Virginia
Before taking any steps to create a living will, you should make your wishes known to your family. While it's ultimately your decision (and your family will probably recognize that), they will likely appreciate having their opinions heard. Additionally, implementing a living will can be much easier if the family already knows what it says, with the document simply making it legally-binding.
The next step in the process is to truly write the living will. While you might be able to draft a valid living will by yourself, to ensure that no problems come up after it's too late, you should pursue the counsel of a Parkersburg, West Virginia attorney who drafts wills.
In most states, a living will must follow all the procedures as testamentary wills (wills that dictate what is to be done with 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 truly 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 Parkersburg, West Virginia Living Will Attorney?
While not completely necessary, a reliable estates attorney in Parkersburg, West Virginia 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 feasible.