The Differences Between a Living Will and a Last Will

It’s not every day that we need to write a Living Will or a Last Will. It’s only natural that people will ask some questions when faced with the task of creating them. These two documents have different legal purposes and used in different situations. You need to understand the differences between the two. This way, you can make the right decision about when and how you should write your Wills.

What Is a Living Will?

A living will is also referred to as Advance Directive. As the name suggests, a Living Will directs what to do with you in case you were ever in a state in which you can’t make your own medical choices. For example, if you’re involved in a car accident that makes you incapacitated. Your written or recorded Living Will puts into effect. Let’s say, for example, that you were in an accident and suffered major brain damage that will force you to live in a vegetative state. You can specify that you want the plug pulled after five days after no brain response. You can name who you want to assign as your attorney-in-fact. Also, you can also request a specific doctor to take care of you as well.

In short, this type of Will does not direct what to do with your properties, assets, and possessions. Instead, it tells the medical staff and relatives about what to do with and who you want to represent your best interests. This only happens in case you ever fall into the state that you’re unable to do so.

What Is a Last Will and Testament?

A Last Will and Testament is commonly known as a will. This legal document dictates what to do with your assets, properties, wealth, and minors under your guardianship in case of your death. When someone dies without a will, their wealth and possessions will go through a probation period called intestate. During this time, the court will review all the evidence to decide what to do with everything under the deceased’s name. This process can be time-consuming, and your possessions may fall into the wrong hands. You can name someone as your executor, and they will be the person who represents your best interests in case you pass away. Your Last Will will only come into effect if you die. On the other hand, a Living Will comes into effect when you’re alive but not in the state to represent yourself.

Which one should I write first?

We never know when something happens to us. Everybody should get both a Living Will and a Last Will. We may be well today, but who knows what’s going to happen tomorrow? Having both of these wills can help to make everything clear. It ensures that every party that’s involved in your well-being knows what they need to do if you ever fall ill. You should write your Last Will first. That will ensure to distribute all of your wealth to the intended beneficiaries if death comes knocking at your door. Once that’s out of the way, then start writing your Living Will. As if you’re not in the state to make a decision, you won’t be able to write your Last Will.