Will, Power of Attorney & Living Will

Will

A will is a legal document that describes the management and distribution of an individual’s estate upon death.

Each will names a personal representative, who will be responsible for managing and distributing the estate upon the individual’s death. A will disperses both real and personal property to beneficiaries named by the benefactor.

If an individual does not create a will or the will is deemed invalid, the individual is said to have died intestate, and the individual’s estate is managed and distributed by the State in accordance with state laws.

Power of Attorney

A power of attorney is a written document in which an individual gives a second individual the right to act on his/her behalf. Powers of attorney can be either general or limited to special circumstances.

A special type of power of attorney is a durable power of attorney. These documents are used for parties who are incapacitated. Durable powers of attorney can be immediate or springing. Immediate durable powers of attorney are effective at execution, and springing durable powers of attorney are effective when a special event occurs such as a disability.

Living Will

A living will is a written document in which an individual gives instructions about how medical treatment should be administered should the individual become terminally ill or permanently unconscious. The living will is created before the individual becomes ill, and doctors must confer with the living will before proceeding with medical treatment. Doctors are obligated to comply with all instructions outlined in this document. The living will preserves personal control in the event of terminal illness and eases the decision-making burden of family members.