Category: Living Wills


Living Will verses a Last Testament and Will

It is always important to have a will to make sure that your wishes are met in order to provide for your family and friends. There are two main types of wills that most people execute while doing their estate planning – a living will and a last testament and will. But what is the difference?

            A living will, also called an advance healthcare directive, specifies what is to be done if a person cannot make decisions for themselves due to incapacity or illness. Most living wills direct if someone wants to be kept on life support, especially if that is the only thing keeping the person alive. In a living will, there is no executor. This is a person’s final directive while they are still alive, addressing their quality of life if some accident or illness befalls them.

            In comparison, a last testament and will goes into effect after a person dies. This will directs how a person wants their assets and property to be disturbed after their death. This type of will makes sure that their wishes will be followed when they are gone. In this will, the person chooses an executor. The executor executes the will on the person’s behalf. The executor is responsible for distributing the assets and property as stipulated in the will.

Do You Need a Will If You Already Have Life Insurance?

Do You Need a Will If You Already Have Life Insurance?

If you already have life insurance, you may wonder why people keep saying that you need to make a will. Life insurance sounds like it will help your family out if you are not around. There are many reasons to make a will in addition to paying for life insurance.

  1. Life Insurance Provides a One-Time Payout to One Person

Life insurance requires you to make premium payments to an insurance company over time. If you pass away while the policy is in effect, the insurer will pay a lump sum to your chosen beneficiary. You can choose one or maybe more beneficiaries, but they only receive one payment. Depending on the type of policy, your family may only receive enough money to replace your income or pay expenses for a year or two. After that, the insurance will no longer help them.

In contrast, you can use a will to make gifts to many people. You are not limited to one or a few beneficiaries. Further, you can even use a will to roll your assets over into a trust. The trust can make payments to your family over time, and the trust assets may even grow in value.

  1. No Premium Payments or Term Required for a Will

To maintain life insurance, you have to make premium payments on a regular basis. These payments may not seem expensive at first. But if you fall on hard times, you could lose the insurance. You do not need to make regular payments to “afford” a will. Once you and your witnesses sign it, it will remain in effect until you die or change the will.

Further, many younger people purchase term life insurance, which stays in effect only for a specified term (such as 10 years). After the term ends, you are no longer covered. Older people often buy policies that last longer but end up costing a lot of money in premiums. Again, a will stays in effect for as long as you want with no extra cost.

  1. Dispose of All Your Assets with a Will

Life insurance assures a payment from the insurance company to a beneficiary. It has no effect on distribution of your assets after you die. You may not think you have many assets to distribute. But if you have a house, own stock, have valuable jewelry, or own a car, you have assets. Further, you might want those assets to go to specific people after you are gone. A will can give you peace of mind that your wishes will be carried out.

Want to start planning your estate? Local attorney Andrew Szocka, Esq. provides thorough and speedy estate planning help in the Chicagoland area. To schedule a free initial consultation, visit the Law Office of Andrew Szocka, P.C. online or call the office at (815) 455-8430.

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