LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - The holidays are a time for family gatherings and as awkward as it may seem, this is also the perfect time to make your end of life wishes known.
That includes how much treatment you would want if you were terminally ill or in a coma or facing severe dementia.
Dr. Kelly Klein is a Texas Tech Physician in Family Medicine.
She says too many people make the mistake of writing down their end of life wishes, signing it, and putting it away.
She says this is why that is not enough.
"There is an actual form you fill out and they have spaces for the witnesses to sign those. You need two competent witnesses or a notary and once you have that form, don't just leave it in the family bible or a lock box. Take that to your doctor or a hospital so they can put that on an electronic record – or your attorney."
Since you need two witnesses to make it official, Dr. Klein says the holidays are the perfect time for families to talk about end of life decisions before an emergency would make it harder for loved ones to make those decisions for you.
You can get the form for a living will, or advanced directive, from your doctor, hospital, attorney or online at hhs.texas.gov.
That website includes frequently asked questions to help you understand the choices you need to consider.