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Difference Between Traditional Will and Living Will

Traditional Will vs Living Will

In the legal sense, the power of a will and a living will are very different. But because of their peculiar similarities by word definition or spelling, many get easily confused. And so, if you have plans for your estate when you are already dead, or if you have fears of becoming physically incapacitated, then it is best to rely on the functions of these wills.

A living will is more medically related. It is a legally bound directive that gives authority to medical practitioners such as doctors to do either of these two acts: (1) to give and implement or (2) to cease or prevent a life maintenance procedure or treatment at a time when the patient is already terminally ill or is having an irreversible condition (like being a “vegetable” patient) that necessitates tiresome life support mechanisms (i.e. feeding tube). The living will can also detail whether the patient would want to donate his or her organs.

The living will is initiated as soon as the patient has appointed someone who will act as his Medical POA (Power of Attorney). This particular individual is then placed in charge of the direction of the decision-making done for the patient. Hence, sensitive medical information about the patient will be given to him so that he can strategize on how to manage the total cost of medical services and also the funeral costs which may drain the financial assets of the patient. Even with this in mind, it is also safe to say that a living will still has nothing to do with one’s assets.

By contrast, a standard or traditional will is actually the one being referred to as the “last will.” It is a lawful document that has been appropriately signed by the person initiating the will in the attendance, of course, with a witness who explains the details of the will (including how that person would want his or her assets to be partitioned by his family members or descendants upon his death). The will also appoints an authorized representative who will facilitate the affairs involved in the will. This person is usually the executor who is actually a full-pledged lawyer.

The will is practically important for those who have lots of assets (the rich). Nowadays, it has become increasingly common for some to make the will early in their lifetime. They just make several revisions in the future as they see it fit.


1.A living will is more medically related which, to some extent, also has a goal to help manage or control one’s assets.
2.A living will can also dictate whether you will donate your organs or not.
3.A standard will is more focused on the appropriate partitioning of one’s assets upon his death.
4.A living will takes effect before the death of the person while a will takes effect after the death of the person.

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