What is the Difference Between a Last Will and Testament and a Living Will?

A last will is a legal document that details how a person wants their property distributed after death. It allows you to leave your assets to the heirs, as well as to the guardians of the name of minor dependents. You can also name a guardian for your minor children in a will and name the people responsible for managing and distributing your property. Without a will, state law determines who will inherit your assets when you die. A last will, also known simply as a will, is a legal document that provides instructions on what should happen to a person's property after death.

A will or will is a legal document that expresses the wishes of a testator as to how their estate will be distributed after their death and as to which person (executor) will manage the property until its final distribution. Probate courts will use your last will and testament when closing your estate. A living will is created while you are alive and healthy. It comes into play while the person is still alive but incapacitated. A living will is different from a normal will because it does not take effect until after the person dies.

Specifically, a last will and testament instructs the court on the disposition of all assets, including who will receive them and in what amount.