If you are a California resident who believes that estate planning should be a major part of your life, you may have heard about living wills and wondered what they are and how they differ from regular wills. Actually, as FindLaw explains, a living will is not a will at all. Whereas a regular will allows you to state who you want to receive your assets and various pieces of your property upon your death, a living will allows you to state your medical treatment preferences if you are terminally ill or suffer an injury or illness that leaves you in a permanent vegetative state.
Your living will contains instructions to your doctors and other health care providers regarding the following:
- Medical treatments, techniques and procedures you want, even if they may hasten your death
- Medical treatments, techniques and procedures you do not want, even if they may prolong your life
- Your preferences regarding organ donation after you die