Last Will vs. Living Will

graphic of last will document and living will document

Many people new to estate planning hear “last will” and “living will” and intuitively believe they must be the same document. They’re both wills, right?

Although both a last will and a living will convey a person’s wishes and instructions (or rather, the person’s “will”), they deal with completely different subjects.

What’s a Last Will?

A last will is a legal document that outlines your instructions for what should happen upon your death.

In your last will, you can specify gifts of things you own, who you would like to care for your minor children (if you have them), and what you would like as a final resting place for your body and any end-of-life ceremony requests.

What’s a Living Will?

A living will is a legal document that allows you to specify your preferences regarding certain healthcare treatments and medical situations in advance. If you later become unable to communicate, your medical team and loved ones can reference your living will to understand and comply with your preferences and values.

You can create a living will as a standalone document or as part of a broader advance health care directive, one of the three essential documents to a comprehensive estate plan package.

How to Create a Last Will and a Living Will

If you create your last will and living will through an attorney, expect to pay $500-1,500+ for your documents. Check out our tips on what to look for in an estate planning attorney and how to find an estate planning attorney if you plan to go this route.

Alternatively, Just In Case Estates offers an easy, affordable way to create your last will and living will as part of our last will and testament estate plan. In as little as 10 minutes, you can complete our step-by-step questionnaire and download your custom, state-specific documents. Our customer success team will be there ready to help you throughout the process via live chat, phone, text, and email.


Just In Case Estates is an online service providing legal forms and information. We are not a law firm and we do not provide legal advice. If you need legal advice, please use our legal expert matching service to connect with a qualified, licensed estate planning attorney near you.