Living Will vs. Last Will
A will is a will…right? Not necessarily. A single document may not be enough to not only protect your assets and provide for your family (or other beneficiaries) but also to protect yourself. That’s why it is advisable to create two different types of wills in Colorado: a living will and a last will and testament.
A living will is a legal document that outlines what kind of life sustaining procedures you want administered in the event you become unable to speak for yourself (incapacitated) due to injury, disease or other health conditions. For example, if you strongly oppose life-sustaining measures such as life support, tube feeding, resuscitation, dialysis and more, you can state in writing that you do not wish to receive this type of medical care under any circumstances. However, if you do want every effort taken to prolong your life, a living will allows you to specify exactly what types of treatment you approve of and how long you want those treatments to continue. Your loved ones will not be faced with the difficult decisions of how and when to continue medical treatment; you will have made those decisions for them.
Last Will and Testament
A last will and testament is a different legal document that specifies how you want your possessions distributed after you die. It is quite literally your last (dying) wish. In a perfect world, the wishes in every will are carried out seamlessly. Of course this is not often the case when there are challenges from creditors, surviving family members omitted from the will, business partners, etc. Death has a way of forming deep rifts among family members; drafting a will may help keep peace among your family if they respect your requests.
Keep in mind that both living wills and last wills are dynamic documents that should be reviewed and updated often to add/delete assets, alter beneficiaries, revise medical care choices, etc.
The Denver estate and will lawyers at The Brown Law Firm LLC are experts at estate planning in Colorado. They can help you create the right documents to make your life and death as easy as possible on you and your loved ones. Contact us at (303) 339-3750 or send us a message online to arrange an appointment.