No one wants to consider the possibility that a medical emergency may arise. Yet, there is always a chance that you will become incapacitated. A Washington living will allows you to dictate what you want to happen in the event that you are unable to vocalize your wishes.
A living will also gives your loved ones something to reference in the event that the unthinkable happens. Detailing what you want may lower their stress levels by helping them see that they are acting in line with your interests. When drafting and signing your living will, you must follow certain protocols for it to be valid.
What are living will requirements?
For your living will to be legal, you must be at least 18 years of age and of sound mind. Also, you need to have two witnesses present upon signing. Neither witness may stand to inherit anything from you, and neither may be a relative of yours. Once you and both of your witnesses have signed the document, it becomes valid.
When does a living will take effect?
A living will comes into play only when you are close to death, permanently unconscious or otherwise unable to verbalize your own desires with regard to your health care. Also, a physician either has to confirm that your condition is terminal, or two different doctors must assert that you are in a state of permanent unconsciousness.
You may use the living will to express your wishes with regard to palliative care and dictate whether you want doctors to keep you alive through artificial means, if necessary, among other topics you might address.