Is a will synonymous with an estate plan? Simple answer is No, according to Beck & Lenox Estate Planning & Elder Law, LLC.
Estate planning and writing a will are entirely different terms.
An estate plan is a broader plan of action for your assets that may apply during your life, as well as after your death. A will is part of an estate plan.
Yahoo Finance’s recent article entitled “Estate Planning vs. Will: What’s the Difference?” explains that a will is a legal document that states the way in which you’d like your assets to be distributed after you die.
A will can also detail your wishes about how your minor children will be cared after your death, and it names an executor who’s in charge of carrying out the actions in your will. Without a will, the state’s probate laws determine how your property is divided.
Estate planning is a lot broader and more complex than writing a will. A will is a single tool. An estate plan involves multiple tools, such as powers of attorney, advance directives and trusts. There are a variety of trusts to serve different purposes.
Again, a will is a legal document, and an estate plan is a collection of legal documents. An estate plan can also handle other estate planning matters that can’t be addressed in a will.
A will is a good place to start, but you’ll want to create an estate plan to ensure that your family is fully covered in the event of your death.
A will is not synonymous with an estate plan. While having a will is important, it’s only the first step when it comes to creating that plan. According to Beck & Lenox, the two most important legal documents that the attorneys handle in the office for estate planning purposes are the Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare and Durable Power of Attorney for Finances.
To leave your heirs and loved ones in the best position after your death, you should talk to an experienced estate planning attorney about creating a comprehensive estate plan, so your assets can end up where you want them.
Reference: Yahoo Finance (Aug. 10, 2021) “Estate Planning vs. Will: What’s the Difference?”