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Living wills versus last wills

California residents may at some point end up having to deal with either writing a will of their own, or handling someone else's will. In these situations, it's good to know the difference between the different types of wills. In this segment, we take a look at living wills and last wills.

According to the Free Dictionary, a living will is also known as an advance directive. This will comes into play while a person is still alive. It is written by the person in question while in their right mind. In a living will, a person determines what shall be done in the case of permanent unconsciousness, comatose states, or a state of permanent illness. For example, if someone does not want to be on continued life support after being declared vegetative, a living will is where they would put the instructions for dealing with that situation.

Cambridge dictionary states that a last will and testament has more to do with what's done after a person's passing. In this document, someone can direct where their belongings will go, how their finances or property will be divided, and what they want done with their body after their passing. The last will is what people look toward when dividing assets, inheritances, and determining who will handle what. Last wishes also typically are included here.

Both of these documents serve very different purposes. For that reason, both are equally important to know in detail, as they can both help a person make things easier for themselves and their loved ones in worst case scenarios.

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