What is a Living Will?
A living will is a document which is very prevalent south of the border. It basically outlines instructions to the doctors, hospitals etcetera what to do under certain conditions when the patient is unable to communicate his or her wishes due to incapacity.
Normally, it deals with the situation of the patient being on life support systems when there is little hope of any meaningful recovery.
The person instructs the family, doctors, hospital, etc. to turn off life support, stop heroic revival treatments and let God decide life or death (in other words let the person die with dignity, as pain free as possible and without prolonging the inevitable).
The fear being that the person would live on as a vegetative or quadraplegic state to be a lingering burden upon the family with no or little quality of life.
A power of attorney expires upon the person dying. A will does not come into effect until the person dies. A Will and power of attorney(s) provide a complete package of protection for your estate should something happen.