Family Tensions and Healthcare Decisions: How a Santa Barbara Will and Trust Lawyer Can Help

Santa Barbara Will and Trust Lawyer

Sadly, family feuds are more common than we’d like to admit. These tensions can become incredibly stressful and even more so when one family member experiences a health crisis. If you’re remarried and your adult children don’t get along with your new spouse, it’s natural to worry about potential conflicts during a time when support should be the priority.

When Conflicts Turn Ugly

We’ve seen it all: disagreements about visitation rights, arguments about treatment options, and even outright hostility toward partners during hospital stays. These battles take an emotional toll when you want to focus on healing. While a will or trust can’t magically erase family tensions, these legal tools can help maintain order and ensure your wishes are respected.

How an Estate Plan Can Help

Here’s how a Santa Barbara will and trust lawyer can help minimize disruptions during a health crisis:

  • Appointing a Healthcare Agent: We can help you choose someone you trust completely to make medical decisions if you become incapacitated. This could be your spouse, an adult child, or a trusted friend. This person will have the legal authority to override any conflicting opinions in the family.
  • Healthcare Directives: We’ll walk you through the process of creating clear instructions regarding your treatment preferences (e.g., life support, pain management), ensuring your wishes are followed, regardless of who’s visiting. The goal is to cut out as many “gray areas” about your wishes as possible so there is less to discuss or argue over.
  • Limiting Access: Sometimes, it’s better to have fewer “cooks in the kitchen” when critical decisions need to be made. Your healthcare directive can also list anyone you do not wish to have speak on your behalf or have access to your medical records if that is a concern.

Getting Help with Family Conflict

Don’t let family drama overshadow your health and well-being. If you have concerns about potential conflicts, contact our 805-946-1550 will and trust law firm. We can help you create a plan that puts you in the driver’s seat of your healthcare, regardless of family dynamics.

Author Bio

Julianna Malis is the Founder and Managing Partner of Santa Barbara Estate Planning & Elder Law, a Santa Barbara estate planning law firm she founded in 2014. With more than 25 years of experience practicing law, she has dedicated her career to representing clients in a wide range of legal matters, including estate planning, elder law, Medicaid and Medicare planning, probate, and other estate planning areas.

Julianna received her Juris Doctor from the University of the Pacific — McGeorge School of Law and is a member of the California State Bar Association.

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