Advance Directive vs Living Will

23 Jan 2020 Notary Public

There are many different types of legal documents that can help you ensure that your loved ones, property, and assets are properly cared for if you become incapacitated or unavailable for any reason. It can be difficult to know the individual purposes of these various documents and what information should be put into each one, so it is important to seek the help and advice of experienced notaries, like the ones at Sidhu & Associates, if you are planning on putting together any kind of estate or personal planning documentation. One of the most common types of estate planning documents are advance directives, and people often wonder about the differences between advance directives and living wills.

What is an Advance Directive?

An advance directive is a legal document that outlines your wishes for medical or personal care in the event that you become ill, injured, or cannot express your own wishes for any reason. These documents typically also include information on what values and beliefs you hold in order to give context to your wishes. Because advance directives do not include information on who is going to represent you in such circumstances, they are often paired with representation agreements so that you can be sure that somebody you trust can act in your interests.

What is a Living Will?

A living will is a type of document that fits within the category of advance directives within the United States. In Canada, this term is often used interchangeably with advance directives, but there is no specific document that goes by the title “living will” in Canada. In Canadian law, the contents of a legal will are included in the documentation of an advance directive. The purpose of a living will is to give exact instructions on what type of medicine or medical care you wish to accept or decline, while an advance directive offers much more information and is capable of being more comprehensive. It is also important to note that, although the word “will” is in the title, it is very different from a last will and testament.

If you are interested in finding out more information about the differences between an advance directive vs a living will, or to find out about any services that Sidhu & Associates offers, please contact us at 604-859-4825 or fill out a contact form on our website and we will get back to you as soon as we can.