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What’s the Difference Between a Living Will vs a Last Will?


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While they have similar-sounding names, the functions of a living will and a last will are entirely different. One relates to outline preferred future healthcare treatments and the other relates to setting out how you want your estate to be divided after you pass away.

In this blog post, we will take a look at living will vs last will and give a clear explanation of both. Both a living will and a last will are important legal documents that should be created with care and attention.

What Is a Living Will?

A living will is a legal document that outlines an individual’s specific healthcare preferences, in the event that they are unable to communicate them in the future. A living will come into effect should you become incapacitated, for example, if you have been injured in an accident.

A living will is what’s known as a type of advance directive or medical directive. It will typically outline your preferences on a number of healthcare procedures and practices. These can include:

Many loved ones can find making such decisions themselves difficult in the event that someone becomes incapacitated. A living will ensures that an individual’s healthcare preferences are followed in such an event.

If you are wondering when to write a living will, the answer is that it can be completed at any time.

What Is a Last Will?

It is fair to say that more people will be aware of a last will, which outlines how you would like your property and all other assets to be distributed following your death. The person writing the will (known as a testator) will outline to whom they would like to distribute their possessions (these people and organizations are known as beneficiaries).

A will may also be used to nominate an executor, who will carry out the wishes that an individual has stipulated in their will, It is not mandatory to write a last will and, of course, many people die without writing one. In this case, the intestacy laws in your state will help to determine who will receive your assets.

If you are wondering when to write a last will, as long as you are over 18, the best time is now.

For more, check out these common mistakes when estate planning.

Living Will vs Last Will: Know the Difference

As you can see, when we look at last vs living will there is quite a difference. Both, as we have seen, are legal documents, though one will only be utilized in the event that an individual is incapacitated. With a last will, this will come into effect following the death of the testator.

It is recommended that you write both a willing will and a last will. They can both be updated in the future, should you change your mind on any issue. It is always better to be prepared for the future.

Like this blog post on living will vs last will? Be sure to check out our other interesting articles on the rest of our blog today.



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