You have likely heard the terms “advanced healthcare directive” and “last will and testament” before. But, do you know the difference? Each have different, important roles to play and creating both documents can ease the stress and burden from your family during your final years. Discover exactly what an advanced healthcare directive and last will entail and why you need both:
Advanced Healthcare Directive
An advanced healthcare directive goes into effect when you are still alive. Normally, this document is drawn upon if you are unable to communicate (i.e. in a vegetable state or incapacitated). This document will outline what your wishes are for end of life treatment, helping bring peace to loved ones during a stressful time.
An advanced healthcare directive also appoints a healthcare agent who will make these important decisions on your behalf. This way, family members do not need to feel the burden of directing doctors or nurses about end of life treatment. Until the moment you pass, your advanced healthcare directive can be updated or changed to meet your needs.
Last Will & Testament
A last will and testament is the legal document that is referenced after you pass away. This document does not cover medical care like an advanced healthcare directive does. Rather, it covers how you want your assets to be distributed. These assets can cover many items such as properties, finances, pets, and more.
The person you choose to execute your will after your death will distribute your assets, so your family does not feel that added pressure during an emotional time.
How the WHGM Attorneys Can Help
Many people ask us, “which will do I need to write – an advanced healthcare directive or last will and testament?” We believe you need both due to the very different roles and functions of each document. Your advanced healthcare directive and last will and testament should be written while you are in a healthy state of mind. Our attorneys can answer all your questions and create these documents that will undoubtedly bring peace to your loved ones.