Is Estate Planning the Same as a Will?

If you are considering starting the estate planning process, you probably have a lot of questions. After all, estate planning is complicated, and there is a lot of information out there on the topic. In this article, we examine the following common estate planning question: “Is estate planning the same as a will?” For help with other common estate planning questions, please contact our experienced estate planning attorney.

What is a Will?

A will is an important legal document that conveys the final wishes of a person who has passed away. Despite its importance, however, approximately 60 percent of U.S. adults do not have a valid will. If you die without a will, the state will decide what happens to your assets. This rarely has a good outcome, as it is highly unlikely that the state’s wishes will align with your own. As we explain below, although a will is an important part of an estate plan, a will by itself is not an estate plan.

What is Estate Planning?

Although important, a will is insufficient to meet many people’s estate planning needs. Most people need a comprehensive estate plan. Estate planning is the process of anticipating and arranging for the management and disposal of your estate. A well-crafted estate plan takes your unique needs into account and addresses all issues that are relevant to you and your family. With an estate plan, you can:

  • Distribute your assets and property in an efficient manner
  • Ensure that your beneficiaries receive what you want them to receive
  • Avoid and reduce taxes, fees, and creditor claims
  • Plan for incapacitation
  • Make end-of-life care choices
  • Plan for future healthcare needs
  • Provide protection for your dependents
  • Reduce stress on your family and prevent family disputes

In other words, a comprehensive estate plan can and should address all issues related to your estate.

Estate Planning is for Everyone

Many people are of the belief that estate planning is only for the wealthy. This simply isn’t true. Estate planning is for everyone. When you have an estate plan in place, you can be confident that the rights and interests of you and your family are fully protected. However, in order to ensure that you have the most effective estate plan possible, you should contact an estate planning attorney for assistance.

Contact a Florida and New York Estate Planning Attorney

If you’re ready to begin the estate planning process, you need an experienced Florida and New York estate planning attorney on your side. At the Law Office of Angela Siegel, attorney Angela Siegel provides comprehensive estate planning services to residents of Florida and New York. Ms. Siegel is a knowledgeable and experienced estate planning attorney, and she routinely assists Florida and New York residents with their estate planning needs. Please contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation.