Living will, power of attorney, or advance directive?


A living will is a very specific document that lets the world know your wishes if you are unable to decide or unable to make known your wishes regarding end-of-life care. This should not be confused with your last will and testament or with a durable power of attorney or with a healthcare surrogate. A living will is very specific to the end of life and how you end your life, whether you receive feeding tubes, respirators, all of those things that could keep you alive for a very long time.

Other items a durable power of attorney is necessary just for someone to take actions like you would for your property or to control assets. An advanced directive is simply something that you sign before it’s needed, telling how you want your assets or your body to be taken care of.