A Houston Attorney Explains the Meaning of Living Wills
Ever heard the term “living will”? It doesn’t mean that the will is actually living, of course. While few people would probably jump to that conclusion, the phrasing “living will” is nonetheless a little misleading, even a misnomer, according to Geoff R. Casavant, P.C. In fact, there are two areas where a living will is a misnomer:
First of all, a living will in Houston doesn’t deal with property at all. Nonetheless, many people assume it does because it involves the word “will,” which in other contexts refers to how property and assets should be bequeathed by the writer of the will in the event of his or her death.
Whereas other wills are a way of discussing who will be in charge of administering an estate when the property owner dies, a Houston living will has to do with the future medical conditions of the person in question. For comparison, consider this: a will has to do with tying up loose ends, paying off debts, and bequeathing assets to inheritors if the undersigned passes away.
A Houston living will, on the other hand, instructs medical providers about what to do if the undersigned is in a vegetative state, has an irreversible coma, or a terminal condition. This is the kind of situation in which one may die even if the best medical experts keep the patient alive on life support for six months or more. A living will might charge somebody with implementing this decision: rather than be stuck in a vegetative state or kept on life support, the undersigned wants to be kept comfortable, but not allowed to be synthetically kept alive. For example, this person will specify that they don’t want a pacemaker, ventilator, or medication that only keeps them alive. They want to be peacefully left alone.
Therefore, a Houston living will describes how somebody prefers to face their own death, whereas a regular will describes what happens to an estate after the death of the estate holder. Ideally, a full, broad, solid future plan for somebody who is aging and has assets would include both a common will as well as a living will. The combination is recommended for obvious reasons. There are two areas that should be communicated about: the first details how somebody wants to leave this world, the second has to do with what happens to all their hard-earned property.
Houston, TX 77080
*Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. You should not rely on this article as a legal opinion on any specific facts or circumstances, and you should not act upon this information without seeking professional counsel. Publication of this article and your receipt of this article does not create an attorney-client relationship.