Do I need a will or living will

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Do I need a will or living will

I’m 33 with no medical conditions, i do
have 2 minor children and I’m divorced.
I was wife I should do a living will or
will to make it easier if I die before
I’m remarried?

Asked on September 28, 2016 under Estate Planning, Massachusetts


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Do both--they do different things.
A will sets out how your assets should be distributed when you die--it can also appoint a guardian for your children (should their other parent die before you) *and* can set up a trust for their benefit with some or all of the money and assets you had on death (called a "testamentary trust"), which can help make sure the money is used for their benefit, without giving the money to their other parent, whom (since you divorced) you may not entirely agree with or trust.
A living will, also known as an advance directive and often combined with a health-care proxy, sets out your wishes for health care and life support if you are incapacited and can appoint someone to make medical decisions for you if you can't make or commucate your own decisions. 
An attorney can draw both up for you for (usually) $400 - $1,000 total in the Northeast, and make sure they are properly executed, witnessed, and notarized, and also that they meet your needs. It is a very good investment.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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