What Exactly Is A Living Will?

by cmoy on February 22, 2014

A living will isn’t really a will at all, and doesn’t dispose of your property. Instead, a living will is an instrument that states your wishes for your care, in the event that you become terminally ill or permanently unconscious. Through a living will, you can state whether or not you want any type of treatment to prolong your life, reduce pain, or provide nourishment.

Many people think a living will is the same as a “durable power of attorney for healthcare,” but these documents are the not the same.  For example, a durable power of attorney for healthcare names a person (called an “agent”) who will be responsible for making decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated and unable to care for yourself. This power becomes effective when you are determined to be incapacitated.  In reality, a durable power of attorney for healthcare is much broader than a living will, and gives the agent full decision-making authority with respect to a wide variety of situations involving your medical, surgical, hospital and related care. In contrast, a living will does not name an agent, and applies ONLY if you become terminally ill.

In Virginia one document, an Advance Health Care Directive (or Advance Medical Directive), serves the purpose of both a living will and durable power of attorney for healthcare.

What about my financial affairs – who manages those if I become ill or incapacitated?

If all you need is to designate someone to handle your financial affairs in the event you become ill or incapacitated, then it’s best to use a “Power of Attorney” instead of (or in addition to) a living will or advance health care directive. When you execute a Power of Attorney, you will designate a specific person to handle your financial affairs in the event you become ill or incapacitated. The person you name will then be able to perform a many duties such as paying your bills, managing your bank accounts, and investing your assets. In Virginia this document is called a Durable Power of Attorney for Finances.


Celeste M Moy PLLC offers Advance Health Care Directives, a Durable Power of Attorney for Finances, and more estate planning documents for sale online.

• Go to at moylawgroup.com

• Click the Legal Services tab, and then select Wills, Powers of Attorney, and Estate Planning

  • Select a document to purchase
  • Complete a simple, online Questionnaire and submit it to us via our web site.

• An attorney will review your submitted Questionnaire and contact you if additional information is needed to clarify your intent.

  • If necessary, your Attorney will draft language to make sure the document reflects your intent and is right for your circumstances.

• When your completed document is ready, an Attorney will upload it to your MyLegalAffairs™ web space and notify you via e-mail.

• Simply log into your secure web space to review, download and print your completed document.



Welcome from Celeste Moy, Attorney at Law!

by cmoy on September 22, 2011

Welcome to the Web site of Celeste M. Moy, Attorney at Law!  

This is our first blog post. Our goal is to make regular posts in this blog in the areas of Virginia Business & Corporate Law, Employment Law and Collection matters. Our posts will be mostly designed to educate our readers in these areas.  These areas of law are also constantly evolving; therefore, we will attempt to post major changes to these areas of law as soon as they become known to us. However, we will occasionally make posts in other areas that interests small businesses and individuals such as landlord/tenant law.

Please remember that none of our posts is to be construed as legal advice. For legal advice in your particular matter, please contact us or other attorneys to help you.

One last thing – unless otherwise stated, all of the posts here will be based on Virginia law.