When it comes to many types of legal documents, it is not unusual for some documents to sound similar but have completely different uses. Because of this fact, it is important for Tennessee residents and those elsewhere to make sure they are using the right documents for their situations. This may prove especially true for those who are estate planning.

In particular, some individuals may have some confusion when it comes to a health care proxy, which may also be referred to as a health care power of attorney, and a living will. It is important to know that these are two different documents with two separate purposes. The health care proxy is a document that an individual can use to appoint someone to make medical decisions in the event that he or she cannot make those decisions due to incapacitation.

With a living will, rather than appointing someone to an important position, a person can use this document to detail what type of end-of-life care he or she wants. This could include whether an individual should be left on life support or if certain treatments should be avoided. Though the two documents are different, they can both prove beneficial in a comprehensive estate plan.

Being confused about the various planning tools is understandable. Tennessee residents should not let potential confusion prevent them from estate planning, however. Legal professionals can help interested individuals through the planning process by providing insight and reliable information on the different options and how they could suit specific situations.