Do You Have a Living Will or a Living Trust?

If you don’t have a living will or a living trust, you may leave problems for your loved ones and inheritors when you pass away. If you want to be protected in case of a medical emergency, you need a living will.

If a person dies intestate – without leaving a will – the state takes charge of all the monies and properties and distributes the estate according to the state laws. There is also the wills and probate process wherein a will also has to undergo probate and the state takes money for doing this; successors may be liable for inheritance or other taxes and levies.

Have you ever considered what were to happen if you were physically or mentally incapacitated due to a medical emergency? A person can have a stroke, an accident, go into a coma or be medically kept alive; millions undergo this trauma. A living will would take care of your medical decisions if you were not in a position to do so. It can specify the kind of medical treatments that you want or prohibit, for instance if you don’t want artificial tube feeding or ventilator support.

A living trust is one in which the person who is writing the will has the authority to make decisions, but he or she will also name an executor or trustee in case he is medically unable to do so or dies. It like a power of attorney which you execute in the name of the trusted person, a spouse, friend or family member, empowering them to take decisions on your behalf and take care of your financial affairs.

With a living will/living trust in place, you will protect yourself in case of medical problems and your loved ones from paying extra taxes or money for probate in case of death.