A will is a critical document that everyone should have regardless of age, status, or wealth. It is a legal document stipulating the distribution of your assets after your death, guardians for minors, and can specify final arrangements such as burial, funeral, and more.
What is an Estate Plan?
An estate plan allows you to control how your estate is handled upon death. You have worked hard to provide for yourself and your family and have the right to stipulate how you want your assets distributed after your death. An estate plan encompasses several aspects of your life and death. It can include instructions for your care should you become incapacitated, how disability income or long-term care insurance is to be distributed, a plan to provide care for family members with special needs without disqualifying them from government benefits, and more. It can also allow you to provide details on how to transfer your personal or business assets upon your death and let your family minimize tax or fees associated with probate.
What are the Main Differences Between a Will and an Estate Plan?
A will would be a piece of the whole picture if the entire picture were the estate plan. For example, you can solely have a will in place without an estate plan, but you are likely not going to have an estate plan without a will as a part of it.
Having a will in place allows the family to distribute assets upon your death following your wishes, but they may be left with questions without an entire estate plan set up by you. An effective estate plan will encompass all the critical aspects affecting your family upon death, leaving them with less distress and fewer questions. An estate plan can also set out your wishes for your incapacity prior to death, which a will cannot do.
It can be challenging to think about our mortality, but it is generally harder to think about what our family will be left with should we not take the necessary steps and prepare an effective estate plan. Having an estate plan allows you to be in control of your assets and alleviates frustration, the possibility of family disputes, and further stress for your family after you are gone or should you become incapacitated.
Why Hire an Attorney?
There are several aspects that you may overlook when it comes to estate planning. Working with an experienced attorney can give you a critical perspective and help you make sure you have thought of everything and have planned for it as best as possible. It can provide great comfort to those who have set up an estate plan, knowing they have done all they can to provide for their family if they should become incapacitated or even after they are gone.
If you are considering setting up an estate plan or a will, contact our office at (704) 286-0947. One of our attorneys can help you set up a plan that meets your needs and provides peace of mind for you and your family.