There are different types of wills that are used in the field of estate planning. One of them is the last will or last will and testament, which is used to transfer assets following your death. You can also nominate a guardian for dependents in your last will. Another type of will that should be a part of every comprehensive estate plan is a living will. Some people confuse living wills with living trusts, so we would like to provide some clarity here.
Individuals generally equate a will with the transfer of property. This can lead to the misconception that a living will facilitates property transfers while you are still alive.
This is not the case. A living trust is a vehicle of asset transfer. However, a living will has nothing to do with financial matters.
With a living will you state your wishes with regard to the implementation of life-sustaining measures like the utilization of feeding tubes, respirators, and ventilators.
It seems that modern medicine can keep people alive almost indefinitely using these measures, even if there is no hope of recovery. Some individuals would want this to continue, and others would prefer to allow nature to run its course. How you feel about it is a personal preference, and you can state that preference by executing a living will.
If you don't have a living will and you do fall into an incapacitated state your closest relatives would be forced to make decisions in your behalf. This is a very difficult position to be placed in. You essentially have a matter of life or death in your hands, and you may not know how the person in question would have acted if he or she could communicate.
Disagreements among family members often arise, because this is an issue about which people can be very passionate. This is a difficult time for all concerned, and family members should be pulling together. You can prevent this type of situation if you take the time to execute a living will.
A living will is an advance directive for health care. Since we are covering an important advance directive in this post we would like to mention another one that is highly recommended, the health care power of attorney.
Medical decisions may present themselves that are not specifically covered in the living will. They may be quite sensitive. You can appoint someone of your choosing to make these decisions for you if it becomes necessary by executing a durable power of attorney for health care.
When you do this the agent you name will have the legal authority to act on your behalf when it comes to health care decisions.