The idea of a “living” will is counterintuitive, isn’t it?

A will, after all, is a document you prepare to determine what will happen with your assets when you’re no longer living. Except that a living will doesn’t really have anything to do with money. And then there’s a living trust. Which is, actually, much more similar to a will. Confused?

If you’re asking what the difference is between the two, the answer is, well, almost everything. What the two documents do have in common, however, is that they are both created and take effect while you are living. They are also documents you should use in your estate planning journey.

Living Trust

A living trust (for these purposes usually created as a revocable living trust) serves a similar purpose as a last will in that it provides for the distribution of your assets. However, because this document is created and goes into effect while you are still living, you have the ability to continue to manage your assets as long as you’re mentally capable.

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Planning for medical possibilities goes far beyond merely buying health insurance. Your plan may include making sure you are well protected today, with health, life and disability insurance. It may also include preparing for later, with a will and estate plan. As part of your estate planning, it’s also important to make decisions in regards to your future health care.

You have likely heard different terms to describe having your medical needs met when too sick to care for yourself. Depending on the state you are in, the documents may have different names and requirements. Essentially, in order to manage your health care once you can no longer speak for yourself, your need two types of documents: a living will (AKA advance health directive) and a medical power of attorney.

Living Will/Advance Health Directive

A living will is a set of detailed instructions describing how you wish to have your health care managed in dire situations. Also known as

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