What You Need to Know about Different Types of Wills

If you have ever considered estate planning – for now or the future – you may be overwhelmed with all the different options, terminology, and directions. Whether you are 30 and just starting a family, or are nearing retirement and planning for the ‘golden years’, we can help! At Daic Law, we aim to make estate planning as simple as possible.  Here is our guide for what you need to know about different types of wills.

Wills, Proxies, and Advance Directives – Oh My!

While it is a given that we will all age, there is no way to predict what the future holds in terms of health, accidents or injuries, or changes in family dynamics.  That is where estate planning is particularly helpful, especially wills.  Depending on what type of document you choose, your will may include instructions for medical care, assets, caring for dependents, or other instructions.

There are many names for the different types of wills you may explore – many of which actually refer to the same document.  Here are the most common types of wills you may explore:

Will: A standard will is the document you create that identifies your assets and debts, appoints an executor, and coordinates distribution of said assets to your beneficiaries.  A will may also include instructions for the care of minor children, as well as any applicable health or mental care support for a spouse or children (any age).

Living Will: Also known as a medical directive or advance directive, a living will is used to provide instructions for medical care should you become terminally ill or incapacitated.  Some of the most common instructions listed in a living will include:

  • Do you want to be tube-fed if you cannot physically eat or drink on your own?
  • Do you want to be placed on life support if you are incapacitated? Life support meaning artificial support that does not treat the condition, but rather supports or extends your life.
  • If you are an organ donor, do you have any specific requests about donated organs?

Health Care Proxies: Also known as “durable medical power of attorney”, a health care proxy allows you to appoint someone you trust to make medical decisions on your behalf should you be unable to do so yourself due to injury, illness, or mental state.

Do Not Resuscitate: A do not resuscitate order (DNR) means that medical staff will not attempt to revive you should your health decline to the point of death.  That means no CPR will be provided if your heart or breathing stops.  DNR orders are often included in living wills.

splotchy retro effect on photo concept last will and testamentWant to Learn More about Estate Planning?

Many states have standardized versions of wills, but it is always advised to have any will reviewed by an attorney in order to ensure it is legal, binding, and in accordance with state laws.  To learn more about estate planning, your rights, and the best methods of protecting your assets, family, and future wishes, contact Daic Law today.  Call us at (713) 808-5246, or send us an email at info@daiclaw.com.

For More Information

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Probate Law

Sources

https://www.americanbar.org/groups/real_property_trust_estate/resources/estate_planning/living_wills_health_care_proxies_advance_health_care_directives.html#introduction

https://www.cancer.org/treatment/finding-and-paying-for-treatment/understanding-financial-and-legal-matters/advance-directives/types-of-advance-health-care-directives.html