Hickory Living Will Lawyer

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Hickory Living Will Attorney

A North Carolina living will is a legal document that informs others of your healthcare preferences if certain circumstances arise. The purpose of a living will is to ensure that your wishes are honored in the event that you become incapacitated. Living wills are recognized by North Carolina law, but the documents must be drafted in accordance with state guidelines. If you are planning on creating this important component of estate planning, a Hickory living will lawyer can help you do so.

Thinking about becoming incapacitated following an accident or illness may be hard, but having a living will in place provides clarity and direction for your loved ones if you are unable to communicate your desires and wishes personally.

Hickory Living Will Lawyer

Why Do People Create Living Wills?

A living will in Hickory provides clarity and guidance during uncertain times. If you do not have a living will in place and become incapacitated, you may be forcing your loved ones to make difficult decisions on your behalf. Doctors may ask your spouse or children whether you should go for end-of-life care and what types of medical treatments you should receive.

A living will address all those questions so your loved ones do not have to guess what your wishes are. Instead of having to worry about what type of treatments you need, your family will be able to focus on spending time with you.

You might think that living wills are just for very elderly people and those with chronic health problems. A living will can be useful for anyone at any stage of their adult life. When included as part of a comprehensive estate plan, a living will can afford the declarant peace and comfort in knowing that their wishes will be followed in the event of a prolonged illness or unexpected accident.

When Does a Living Will Become Effective?

A living will only comes into effect when you are injured or incapacitated. If you are able to make decisions for yourself, the will does not supersede your conscious choices. One example of when a living will comes into effect is if you develop a medical condition that leads to your death in a relatively short period of time.

Another situation would be if you become unconscious and your medical doctor believes that you will not regain consciousness. If there is a reasonable chance that you will regain consciousness, as gauged by a medical professional, then your family would wait for you to regain consciousness before making any non-urgent decisions.

People with dementia or a similar condition that leads to loss of cognitive ability often benefit from a living will. If a medical doctor determines with a high degree of certainty that you will not regain your cognitive ability, the directives outlined in the living will come into effect.

Living wills tell doctors whether you wish to have aggressive medical interventions, artificial nutrition, and other steps used to extend your life. This would have practical implications for whether you have a feeding tube placed or an IV for hydration. Some people use living wills to ensure that they are not stuck on life support for extended periods of time. A natural death that allows loved ones to move on is preferable for some individuals, and a living will can convey those wishes.

Do You Need a Living Will?

You are not required to draft a living will. If you do not have a living will and are incapacitated, your closest family members will make important decisions on your behalf. While this commonly happens, it can be a burden on loved ones to have to guess what your intentions are. Rather than leaving them without any guidance, having a living will adds certainty to uncertain times.

Unexpected accidents and prolonged illnesses can be an emotional strain on loved ones. Many people find that hiring an attorney to handle important estate planning matters, like drafting a power of attorney and living will, can prevent loved ones from unnecessarily stressing over important medical decisions.


Q: How Much Is a Living Will in North Carolina?

A: The fees for making a living will depend on how many hours it takes for your attorney to draft and finalize your living will. Some law firms charge a set fee for legal services that involve drafting documents. Living wills can include very simple directives or more complicated guidelines for how doctors should provide care under certain circumstances.

Q: Does a Living Will Need to Be Notarized in North Carolina?

A: A living will must be signed by two witnesses and notarized. The witnesses must have nothing to personally gain by being present. This is what is meant by disinterested witnesses. The declarant must be over 18 and of sound mind. Consent is an important element in any will or legal document, and the declarant must intend to write and sign the living will and fully understand the directives that are included in the will.

Q: How Do I Start a Living Will in North Carolina?

A: The first step, when starting a living will, is to consult with an estate planning attorney who can explain how the legal document works. Another resource for advice could be your primary care physician or a medical doctor who knows your medical history. The directives in a living will are deeply personal, but it can be helpful to communicate your wishes to loved ones so they can anticipate what your desires are in the event of a medical emergency.

Q: What Makes a Will Invalid in North Carolina?

A: There are many ways that a will can become invalid, which is why hiring an estate planning attorney can be helpful. Wills and living wills must be drafted by someone 18 or older who is of sound mind. A living will must be signed by two witnesses and notarized. Any will that is signed under duress or by a declarant who is not of sound mind would likely be seen as invalid by the courts.

Schedule Your Living Will Consultation Today

No matter your age — whether you’re young, middle-aged, or nearing retirement — drafting a living will can be a prudent and useful step, especially as part of estate planning. Crafting a living will can enable you to carefully consider how your healthcare will be managed. Unexpected illnesses or accidents can happen to anyone at any time.

Drafting a living will can give your loved ones peace and certainty during a difficult time. The attorneys at Cody Law Firm have experience guiding people through this important estate planning step. To schedule your consultation, contact our office today.

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