What is the Difference Between a Living Will and a Trust?

by | Mar 17, 2023 | Estate Planning | 0 comments

Trust fundamentally differs from a living will, often known as an advance or advance health care directive. Everyone needs a trust and should establish a living will if they have an estate or valuable property. Because they are frequently misunderstood, I’ll go into more depth about this in this blog article and how they vary from a will (without “living”).

The Difference Between a Trust and A Living Will

Between a trust and a living will, there is a significant distinction. A living will is a legal document that everyone needs. It details what should happen if you are critically ill, gets injured, or become mentally unable. On the other hand, a trust is essentially a container that holds your possessions and preserves them for both you and your heirs during your lifetime.

Living Wills Are for the Living

We don’t want to consider the dreadful things that may occur to us. We may need to make confident decisions if we are involved in car accidents or other mishaps or get ill and temporarily or permanently paralyzed.
What should medical professionals do if you are critically ill or injured? Should they make every effort to save your life, even if doing so causes you more pain and suffering? Or should they provide care that will keep you as comfortable as possible until what is inevitable happens?

That is the purpose of a living will. It’s a paper where you outline what should occur in these situations. Do you desire valiant attempts, intubation, or any operation that can extend your life for only a few days? Or would you like to pass away peacefully, maybe surrounded by your loved ones and unrestrained by equipment that beeps at you?

How To Make Sure Your Requests Are Respected

You need a living will or an advanced medical directive if you cannot care for yourself because you are asleep or paralyzed. And a living will is just that. It will also benefit you, your medical staff, and your loved ones because they would be unable to ascertain what you would have desired without it.

Also, so that someone may communicate with your medical team on your behalf, you must designate that person as your healthcare proxy or representative and grant them a durable power of attorney.
Your living will mainly cover the medical procedures you desire or do not want to be utilized to keep you alive.

Think about what you value, then make a choice. Many choices must be made, including CPR, artificial breathing, tube feeding, and other options. This includes preferences on comfort care, organ, and tissue donation, and, if you choose, donating your body to research.

Therefore be sure to handle this as soon as you can. For assistance with this and the trust, we’ll cover shortly, speak with an estate planning lawyer.

How Should Your Living-Will Be Used?

If you have a living will or advanced directive, be careful to store it in a secure location that is also easily accessible in case it becomes necessary. Moreover, retain a copy with your lawyer.

Provide copies of the letter to your doctor and healthcare proxy. Make sure your family members know your desires by discussing your living will with them.

Have a card the size of a credit card in your wallet that indicates you have a health care directive, including the phone numbers for your attorney and health care proxy, and specifies where the paperwork is located.

Moreover, you might want to periodically review your health care directive and make any necessary adjustments.

Defining a Trust

A trust and a living will are entirely different documents. Revocable and irrevocable trusts are the two types of trusts. Revocable trusts, as their names suggest, can be amended as necessary, but irrevocable trusts cannot be changed without the beneficiaries’ approval. Living trusts are another name for revocable trusts. This indicates that the trust’s founder is still alive. The living trust immediately becomes an irreversible trust after the person’s passing.

Yet, creating an irrevocable trust while the owner is still alive is also possible. This frequently occurs when assets need to be secured or withheld from the owner, such as when the owner cannot care for themselves and needs Medicaid to cover nursing facility costs. In addition, it shields the owner against judgments in legal and bankruptcy proceedings.

A trust is, therefore, like a container where the owner’s assets are deposited. In contrast, living will ensure that the owner’s intentions are respected concerning medical treatments and heroic measures in the case of incapacitation.

They are there for two different reasons. On the one hand, they could exist to keep people’s property from being confiscated for things like taxes, debts, and other reasons. Yet, it is their responsibility to disperse the assets to the heirs.

Trusts can protect assets long-term.

Also, they can safeguard the heirs’ assets throughout time and even keep them intact for THEIR heirs, for instance, if the decedent’s wife marries again and is divorced. According to California’s community property rules, the widow’s soon-to-be ex-husband may receive half of the bequest. Yet if the money is in the appropriate trust, it can stay there and then be given to her offspring.

How Can I Create a Trust Correctly?

Trust must be established appropriately, which is a challenging task. It would help if you never tried to accomplish this alone since errors might have severe repercussions. Instead, look for a knowledgeable estate planning lawyer.

For a free consultation, start by phoning or emailing an experienced estate planning lawyer you are comfortable with. Please bring all your financial information so they can assist you in building trust.

You’ll be happy to learn that an estate planning solicitor can assist you in creating living wills for each member of your family and yourself. It will safeguard you if something happens to you and render you temporarily or permanently paralyzed.

Your Upcoming Move

Contact us by phone or email if you have any concerns regarding creating a living will or a trust, whether revocable or irrevocable. We’d be delighted to speak with you and assist you in setting them up for yourself.