Living Will

Last Will and Testament & Living Wills

When it comes to Estate Planning, many clients are confused as to whether they need both a Last Will and Testament and a Living Will. While the two documents may sound similar, they serve completely different purposes. So, what are the differences? Last Will and Testament The Last Will and Testament is a document that states your wishes about what happens to your possessions and dependents upon your death. It allows you to name the individual you wish serve as the executor of your estate – a person sometimes also referred to as a Personal Representative of the estate. That person will be responsible for administering your wishes through the probate process and working with the court to distribute your property after paying off any outstanding debts. A Last Will and Testament may also be used to name a guardian for your minor children in the event both parents pass away. The form of a Last Will and Testament is regulated by Florida Statute 732.502. The statute requires the document to be in writing and executed by you as the person making the Will (subject to certain limited exceptions) and must be signed in the presence of two witnesses. In order to be a self-proving Will (a Will which is easier to submit to the courts), a Notary Public should attest to both the signatures of the witnesses and your signature as the person making the Will. Living Will A Living Will is sometimes also referred to as an Advance Directive. It is a legal document that provides your personal written instructions regarding acceptable medical treatments if you are unable to otherwise communicate your intentions at the time of medical need. These instructions can include considerations such as whether or not you wish to be kept alive by artificial means