Making plans for how you want your medical care to be handled, if you cannot make decisions on your own, and how you want your assets distributed upon your death are two very important things to do. Therefore, making both a living will and a last will and testament are wise decisions to make, no matter what age you may be. Both of these wills are very different from the other. Take a look at some of the primary differences between the two of them.
The living will can take effect while you are still alive.
One of the biggest differences between a living will and a last will is when they can actually take effect. The majority of the things you include in your living will will cover decisions you want made on your behalf, if it comes to a point that you cannot do so on your own. For example, the living will may offer a directive on what you want to happen if you slip into a coma and cannot make medical decisions for yourself. In general, the living will offers insight, if you become incapacitated on some level. The last will, on the other hand, only takes effect after you have died.
The living will needs a medical directive and the last will needs a financial directive.
Your living will completion will involve designating an agent, referred to as the medical directive, who will act as the decision maker for you, when it comes to your medical care. On the contrary, a last will involves choosing an agent who will make financial decisions about your estate, once you have passed on. Both of these people have important roles, but they have very different tasks.
The last will usually has to be approved in probate, but a living will does not.
When you pass away and have a last will and testament, probate court is necessary to grant the proper responsibilities to the executive agent you have chosen. However, with your living will, nothing tremendous has to happen for your wishes to be carried out, if you become incapacitated. This will is provided to medical organizations and your wishes are followed; it is pretty much that simple. The only time the living will may come into question in court is when there is more than one party claiming they should be the medical directive in your living will.
If you have questions about living or last wills or would like to design your own, contact an office like Wright Law Offices, PLLC.