Living Will vs. Will: What’s the Difference
Published June 21, 2021
A living will vs will serves different purposes. The will, often known as a last will and testament, is a legal estate documentation that outlines the assets you want to be distributed after your death. A living will ensure that life-ending decisions are made for you if you are unable to make them yourself. For instance, if you are on life support and in an irreversible coma or vegetative state, the declaration states what you want to be done with your own body.
While both wills and living wills are binding legal documents, they differ in the level of privacy. Wills become public records when the person has died, and they will then be performed. On the other hand, living wills aren’t meant to be shown to anyone but the medical team responsible for the person’s well-being.
The Difference Between a Will vs Living Trust
After someone’s death, the last will and testament outline how that person’s estate plans should be handled. Another factor to consider is who will get to keep their property and assets, if everyone shares them equally, if they are allotted to specific children or relatives, or if they are to be donated to charity. Execution of a will only occurs after the person has died.
On the other hand, a living will aim to decide on health care measures to be done or avoided when the person is alive but unable to make healthcare directive for themselves nor communicate them, such as if they are in a coma.
Ways to Make a Will and Living Will
How to Make a Will
In different states, the requirements for a will varies, and hence, the power of attorneys will be needed for estate planning basics. The will detail the treatments an individual prefers to be applied if they are terminally sick or are in a persistent vegetative state. Before they take effect, they must be accompanied by two certifications from their physician and another physician that they are indeed experiencing a terminal illness or are permanently unconscious.
How to Make a Living Will
In order to create a living trust, individuals must be over the age of 18 and regarded as having a sound mind. Your signature or your proxy’s signature must be on the documents, and a witness or notary public may be needed. A copy should be delivered to your doctor so that he/she can include it in your medical file.
It is not always essential to hire a lawyer to draft a will. A valid will must be written in sound judgment, be signed in front of two witnesses, and explicitly say it is the individual’s will.
Privacy Difference Between Living Will and Will
Living wills are private medical documents, while wills are made public records through probate.
Costs of Setting Them Up
Depending on the state, the cost of establishing a living will vary. To prepare a living will, you would typically spend $250 to $500, though forms can be completed on your own for $45 to $75.
Similarly, wills cost around $200 to $400 or more to prepare since probate lawyers in certain law firms usually charge by the hour. Moreover, they take up a considerable amount of time and resources during the probate process.
What’s Their Importance In A Person’s Life
What if there is no living will?
Medical treatment and life-prolonging care for someone in a vegetative state who has not executed a living will will be decided by the person’s spouse or by the doctors.
What if you die without a will?
A person will leave their possessions to their heirs, regardless of whether or not they have a will. After the death of a spouse, assets are divvied up amongst the survivor and all children. If there are no relatives left to receive the property, the assets are transferred to the next of kin, whether or not they are living relations. If no one is there to receive them, the property is assumed to be legally owned by the state where the person was last seen.
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About The Author
Krizzia Paolyn holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. She is a professional writer for various digital magazines and renowned publications. It has always been her passion to share her voice, and at the same time, to encourage others to share their voices as well.