Generally speaking, a Will outlines what you want done with your estate after your death, names the Beneficiaries who will receive part of your estate and also appoints the Executors who will be in charge of administering your Will and ensuring your wishes are carried out. The Executors may also have to make decisions about things that are outside the scope of what is specified in your Will, but try to ensure are within and match your wishes outlined in your Will.
A Power of Attorney ceases to exist upon your death. It has no bearing whatsoever on your Will. A Power of Attorney is a directive whereby you give someone you nominate the power to act on your behalf to do various things for you, and is treated as if you have acted yourself. Alternatively, and unlike a Power of Attorney, a Will doesn’t become valid until your death, unless it is a directive in the form of a Living Will.
Enduring Powers of Attorney
An Enduring Power of Attorney, on the other hand, appoints someone to do things for you and potentially to make decisions for you in the event that you become unable to do so while you are incapacitated and before your death. This nominee is given the power to act as if they were you, while you are still living.
A Living Will, also called Advanced Care Directive or Anticipatory Direction, could usually be used when someone learns that they are suffering from a terminal illness and wants another person nominated to ensure they make medical decisions on their behalf in accordance with their wishes. The purpose of a Living Will is to outline what you want in the future regarding medical decisions at the time when you will be unable to decide or communicated yourself.
Legal advice should be sought regarding Living Wills as the law regarding Living Wills varies between States and it’s important to completely understand all of the details before creating one.