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How is a living will different from a will?

Rock Hill, SC |
Attorney answers 3


A living will is a document that expresses your wishes for health care treatment if you become incapacitated and are terminally ill or in a coma. A Will, (Last Will and Testament), is a document that provides for the disposition of your assets, upon your death.

James Frederick

*** LEGAL DISCLAIMER I am licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan and have offices in Wayne and Ingham Counties. My practice is focused in the areas of estate planning and probate administration. I am ethically required to state that the above answer does not create an attorney/client relationship. These responses should be considered general legal education and are intended to provide general information about the question asked. Frequently, the question does not include important facts that, if known, could significantly change the answer. Information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in your state. The law changes frequently and varies from state to state. If I refer to your state's laws, you should not rely on what I say; I just did a quick Internet search and found something that looked relevant that I hoped you would find helpful. You should verify and confirm any information provided with an attorney licensed in your state.


Mr. Frederick makes a very good distinction between the documents. SC, like many states, provides a statutory form for a living will. A will is not provided by statute and must be drafted by your or an attorney after careful consideration of you, your estate and family. Here is a quick resource regarding a living will in SC:

You can also find information at the Lieutenant Governor's Office on Aging website, however remember estate planning is not just for the elderly:

I cannot yet provide a good resource for wills, since there are so many. Do a quick search on avvo for specific questions/answers or browse the web.

Good luck

Ian A. Taylor
The Taylor Law Office L.L.C.
Pawleys Island, SC

The Rules of Professional Conduct for my state only allow me to provide general legal information regarding your question. I am unable to offer my services directly or specific answers to your question. The information provided is not intended to create an attorney/client relationship and shall not be construed as legal advice. Therefore, the resources or information given is provided as general information only. I caution Askers not to attempt to solve individual problems upon the basis of the information contained therein.


A living will is an advance directive health care document that is focused on the dying process only to remove life sustaining treatment or pull the plug when two doctors have determined you are terminal and death is imminent or you are brain dead. It can be downloaded for free at

A last will and testament allows for the distribution of your probate assets when you die.

Evan Guthrie Law Firm is licensed to practice law throughout the state of South Carolina. The Evan Guthrie Law Firm practices in the areas of estate planning probate wills living trust special needs trusts personal injury accident and divorce and family law and entertainment law. For further information visit his website at . Follow on Twitter!/ekglaw Like on Facebook . Avvo LinkedIn Google + Evan Guthrie Law Firm 164 Market Street Suite 362 Charleston SC 29401 843-926-3813

This answer is for informational purposes only. This answer does not constitute legal advice, create an attorney-client relationship, or constitute attorney advertising. Evan Guthrie is licensed to practice law throughout the state of South Carolina. For further information visit his website at <>.

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