What is the difference between a Will and a Living Will?

In a Will, otherwise known as a Last Will and Testament, you provide for the disposition of your property after you die. 

A Living Will is not the same as a Will nor does it serve the same purpose. 

A Living Will is a type of advance medical directive. It permits you to make medical decisions in advance so that in the event you become incapacitated, your wishes are known. 

The Living Will is the most common advance medical directive and applies specifically to your wishes that pertain to end-of-life decisions.

In Connecticut, in order for your Living Will to be operative, you must be unable to make informed decisions and you must be either in a terminal condition or permanently unconscious. These criteria are determined by the attending physician. 

If the Living Will is operative, then life support systems can be withheld or withdrawn including artificial means of nutrition and hydration. Certain formalities must be complied with when you sign or revoke a Living Will. Otherwise, it is possible that the Living Will may not be legally valid.

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