Living Will

What’s the Difference Between Estate Planning and a Will?

When people think about estate planning vs. a will, they often don’t realize the two processes are generally paired together. However, if you’re not familiar with the differences, you won’t know which one to choose depending on your individual situation.

Estate Planning

When making decisions about your estate, you’ll want to account for all your assets and possessions before you pass away. Taking a written account and outlining how you wish your assets to be distributed after death will reduce the chances of your family arguing over who gets what when you die.

Also, estate planning ensures that your medical wishes are written down and certified. When estate planning, you will also want to assign proxies and powers of attorney to a person you trust to carry out your wishes. Estate plans can include documents that will affect you while you are alive and documents that will protect your assets after you die.

Whether planning your estate or your will, it should include designating guardianship for your children.

Writing a Will

A will, on the other hand, is usually drafted by an attorney and is just one important aspect of your comprehensive estate planning. For this reason, people often confuse the two or think they are the same thing. But they are not.

Ensure your attorney writes up your will to ensure it clearly outlines where your assets will go when you die. By making it clear what you want to happen to your assets after death, you can avoid a long, drawn-out, and costly probate. If you have children, a will may also include assigning a guardian if you leave behind minor children.

When determining whether to choose estate planning vs. a will, remember that both documents can provide you with peace of mind and reduce the burdens that will fall on your loved ones during an already difficult time. Schedule a consultation with one of our trusted attorneys at Mark Weseman Law and start protecting you and your family assets while you still can.