When it comes to securing our assets, heirlooms, and investments, taking the proper legal steps with a Will or Living Will, can help ensure that all matters will be taken care of. What then, are the differences between these documents?

The main difference between a Will and a Living Will, is time.

A Will, also known as a Last Will and Testament, distributes a person’s property after death, as well as names guardians for minor children. Appointing someone to carry out these wishes. It has no legal impact until after death, of which then it must be filed with probate court. This is essentially a road map of instructions which are prepared in accordance with the laws of the state a person resides in.

A Living Will, also known as Advanced Directive or Healthcare Directive, takes effect while a person is still alive. This contains thoughts and wishes regarding whether, or not they want to be kept alive by artificial means, in the event of accident or illness where a medical professional says there is no longer hope for recovery for this person. Where someone is named to manage a person’s healthcare. This is a chance to offer guidance for family members during an otherwise emotional time.

Outside of wills, there is a Living Trust, also known as “Inter vivos” Trust. Essentially this is the same as a Last Will and Testament, however it helps avoid the probate process.

Lastly, there is Power of Attorney (POA), also known as Durable Power of Attorney. A general power of attorney gives broad powers to a person or organization (known as an agent or attorney-in-fact) to act on your behalf. These powers include handling financial and business transactions, buying life insurance, settling claims, operating business interests, making gifts, and employing professional help.

Contact us today for help managing your legal estate affairs. We can help you decide which path is right for you.

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