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The Difference Between a Living Will And a Last Will And Testament

Posted on Mon Jan 14, 2019, on Medical Power of Attorney Living Will

A Living Will Attorney Explains the Differences.

The difference between a living will and a last will and testament are not clear from their names.  When planning for your future, you may have various ideas about what kind of document you should write up to plan for your loved one’s futures and ensure your assets go to the right people. In fact, during the planning process, a last will and testament and a living will are some of the most commonly confused documents. To clear up this confusion, you can keep reading to find out for yourself what the differences are between your last will and a living will and decide which document is best for your specific situation. Further, while courts do not require you to have legal help when writing up either form of will, an attorney can be an incredibly valuable resource during both processes and can offer wise legal counsel when making decisions.  When you have questions, turn to a Living Will Attorney. Someone who focuses on these documents.

A Last Will And Testament

Your “last will and testament” is what people most commonly refer to as “a will”. This is a legal document that you create to determine precisely what happens to your assets after you pass away. If you choose not to create a will, a court considers you to be “intestate”. When this is the case, a court will determine how to distribute your assets. In addition to discussing who your beneficiaries are, your will can also discuss who you want your executor to be, who will be managing your financial affairs, and who will take over as guardian of any minor children after you die.

A Living Will

A living will, on the other hand, is also known as an “advance directive”. This too is a legal document and it serves to give instructions regarding your medical care.  For example, if you get into an accident or become so ill that you are legally deemed incapacitated. This is an incredibly useful document.  If an injury or illness incapacitates you, you may be cognitively unable to make your own decisions. This also means you may be unable to communicate these decisions with others. In this living will, you can give someone power of attorney to make medical decisions for you.

What Is the Main Difference?

Clearly, the last will and testament and the living will name different desires of the creator of these wills.  But one of the other big differences is the timing of these wills. Your living will takes into effect while you are still alive but incapacitated.  Your last will and testament goes into effect when you pass away.

Which One Should I Create? The difference between a living will and a last will and testament.

Both serve valuable, but different purposes.  One serves to protect you in life and the other serves to protect your assets and your beneficiaries once you have passed away. The best thing you can do is create a living will and a last will and testament. Each can give you peace of mind that a court and your loved ones will follow your exact wishes when you can no longer make decisions. A last will and testament also makes the probate process go smoother for your family.

I hope you enjoyed this article about the difference between a living will and a last will and testament.  If you have any further questions regarding either form of will, or if you would like legal help creating one of these wills, please call a Living Will Attorney at Klenk Law today.

Tags:

Living Will, Medical Power of Attorney

Peter KlenkPeter Klenk

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