What’s the Difference Between a Will and a Living Will?


There are many different types of estate planning documents, each with its own unique purpose and benefits. Two of these documents that have very similar names are, in fact, very different.

A Last Will & Testament, commonly referred to as a will, is a legal document that specifies a person’s final wishes pertaining to their assets and any dependent children. A person uses this document to ensure that when they die, their possessions are distributed according to their wishes and their children are cared for by the person or people they specify. Check out this article if you’re interested in learning more about wills.

A Living Will, or Advance Directive, is a legal document that specifies a person’s wishes pertaining to medical treatment in the event they are no longer able to make decisions for themselves. Typically, this happens when a person has a terminal condition, end-stage condition or is in a persistent vegetative state. A Living Will allows a person to choose the types of medical procedures they would/would not like to receive at the end of their life.

You can create both a will and a living will for free using Modern Will, or you can speak with a local estate planning attorney in your area.

Last Updated: April 7, 2020

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