Do I need a will or living will

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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

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 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.


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