Every marriage is not meant to last forever. No matter what the reasoning behind the divorce, it is important to have legal representation for each side. I almost lost everything because my former spouse said that he was taking care of things and that he would be fair about how the assets were divided. It took several weeks for me to find out what he was up to. It was then that I hired my own attorney and got what I deserved. You should never attempt to go through a divorce without a lawyer working on your side. On my site, I have listed several of the issues that can get overlooked if you are inexperienced with divorce documents and proceedings.
You may have the medical administrative assistant ask you at an appointment if you have a living will. If you are checking in for a surgical procedure, you may also hear advance directives. Are these two different documents? If so, what makes them different from each other? If not, why different names? Those answers follow.
The Living Will
A living will (as opposed to your Last Will and Testament) tells your family what to do if you are in a coma, a vegetative state, or a condition whereby there is no possible way you will ever fully recover. It is important to let them know how you feel and what you expect them to do when your body is present, but the rest of you does not seem to be here. It eases their anxiety about making some really difficult decisions for you when you are not alert and vocal enough to tell them.
Advance directives are instructions telling your family what to do when you are in a non-communicative, immobile state. You can tell them that you do not want to be resuscitated if you cannot breathe, if you pass away, or if you choke. You can tell them that you want to be kept alive on a feeding tube. You can also tell them if you want pain medication or if you want to donate your organs, body, etc. to science or to other patients who need them. Advance directives are actually part of a living will and are not often a separate document. It does vary from state to state, however.
Discussed, but Not Written Down
A lot of hot legal battles ensue when you talk to family about what you want should you end up in one of the above medical situations/conditions. The problem is that some family members might not be willing to let you go, while others do not want to watch you suffer. The hardest part is when you have already discussed these things with them, and they choose to go against what you asked for anyway.
When you just have a verbal communique with them rather than putting it down in a legal document, nothing sticks. When you do not want to be on endless life support, drawn-out court cases fighting to keep you alive is a mockery of what you asked your family to do. Hire a lawyer and put your living will and directives down on paper. To learn more, talk to companies like Wright Law Offices, PLLC.