When you hear the word will, it is usually associated with death, which is something people rarely or even avoid talking about. We don’t like to be reminded of our mortality and often times evade this topic when it comes into a conversation. Still it doesn’t change the reality that death is inevitable and we never know when it will come for us. This very unpredictability is the reason why it is important to set legal affairs in order at the earliest possible time. One of the things one can do to prepare is to have his lawyer draft a living will.
A living will is different from an ordinary will. The former is a legal document, which is normally used to express one’s wishes when it comes to medical treatments that may prolong his life. The latter is a document with instructions on how you want assets--property and estate--to be divided after you have passed on. A living will is akin to an advance directive that will take effect if ever one becomes terminally ill. It will help inform the health care providers and even family about the desired medical treatment in case a person has become incapable of speaking for himself.
A living trust is often confused with a living will but they couldn’t be more different. The latter has more to do with your wellbeing and health and serves as a guide for your family and health care providers on how to proceed in the event you become incapacitated. The former is a legal document that is akin to a will in that it will contain your clear instructions on how you want your assets to be distributed among your family and relatives.
The difference between a will and a living trust is that a will only becomes effective--if and only if--the grantor (yourself) has passed on and the will then enters into probate. Also called “inter vivos trust”, a living trust is a trust created while a person is still alive rather than one that will created only after he or she dies. The process of probate can be time-consuming, not to mention costly, however, if you choose to have a living trust, then it will bypass these extra expenses.
There will come a time--maybe not immediately--during your retirement when you will realize that you want to do something. You might want to start a new business that you can manage on your own or with a small handful of family members. When you’re done pondering on several small business ideas and deciding which one is best for you, you will need to gather requirements--including some legal documents--that will help you get started so you can operate your new business.
When you’re a senior, I think one of the best things you can do is to prepare yourself for whatever will come in life--be it adventure or challenges. Preparing legal documents ahead of time will help prevent disputes that may arise between family members on distribution of assets. To save on exorbitant lawyer fees, you can avail of prepaid legal plans, which have very budget-friendly monthly fees.
About the AuthorBased in San Diego California, Tiffany Matthews is a professional writer with over 5 years of professional writing experience. She also blogs about travel, fashion, and anything under the sun at wordbaristas.com, a group blog that she shares with her good friends. In her free time, she likes to travel, read books, and watch movies. You can find her on Twitter as @TiffyCat87.