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Understanding the Difference Between a Will vs Living Will

Woman signing a document and lawyer explaining difference between a will vs living will.

When it comes to planning for the future, it’s important to understand the difference between a will and a living will. While both documents deal with important end-of-life decisions, they serve different purposes and have different legal implications. This guide will help you understand the key differences between a will vs living will, and help you decide which one is right for you.

Will and living will comparison chart

What is a Will?

A will is a legal document that outlines how a person’s assets and property will be distributed after their death. It allows individuals to name an executor who will be responsible for carrying out their wishes and distributing their assets according to their instructions. A will can also be used to name guardians for minor children and specify funeral arrangements. It only goes into effect after the person’s death and can be changed or updated at any time.

What is a Living Will?

A living will, also known as an advance directive, is a legal document that outlines a person’s wishes for medical treatment in the event that they become unable to make decisions for themselves. It allows individuals to specify what types of medical treatments they do or do not want, such as life support or resuscitation. A living will only goes into effect if the person is unable to communicate their wishes and can be updated or changed at any time. It is important to note that a living will is not the same as a traditional will and does not address the distribution of assets after death.

What are the key differences between a Will vs Living Will?

While both a will and a living will are important legal documents, they serve different purposes. A will outlines how a person’s assets will be distributed after their death, while a living will outlines their wishes for medical treatment in the event that they become unable to make decisions for themselves. Additionally, a will only goes into effect after a person’s death, while a living will only goes into effect if the person is unable to communicate their wishes. It is important to have both documents in place to ensure that your wishes are carried out both during your lifetime and after your death.

How to create a Will and a Living Will.

Creating a will and a living will can be a daunting task, but it is important to have both documents in place to ensure that your wishes are carried out. To create a will, you will need to list all of your assets and decide how you want them to be distributed after your death. You will also need to name a personal representative who will be responsible for carrying out your wishes. To create a living will, you will need to outline your wishes for medical treatment in the event that you become unable to make decisions for yourself. It is important to consult with a lawyer to ensure that both documents are legally binding and that your wishes are clearly outlined.

Why it’s important to have both a Will and a Living Will.

While a will outlines how you want your assets to be distributed after your death, a living will outlines your wishes for medical treatment in the event that you become unable to make decisions for yourself. Both documents are important to have in place to ensure that your wishes are carried out and that your loved ones are not left with difficult decisions to make. Without a will, your assets may be distributed according to state law, which may not align with your wishes. Without a living will, your loved ones may be left to make difficult decisions about your medical care without knowing your wishes.

Ready to create your will or living will? Call us.

If you’re still confused about the difference between a will vs living will, you’re not alone. We can help you through the process. Give us a call today at 602-443-4888. We’re here to help.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Founding attorney Paul Deloughery has been an attorney since 1998, became a Certified Family Wealth Advisor. He is also the founder of Sudden Wealth Protection Law.

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