To understand the difference between a will and an estate plan, think of your will as one piece of a larger puzzle that encompasses more than just how you want your possessions divided and distributed.
A full estate plan will include directives such as:
- Specifically named people to care for your minor children or adult children with disabilities
- Distribution of your estate to specific beneficiaries or charities you name
- Powers of attorney which name agents to make financial or healthcare decisions for you if you should become incapacitated
- Advance directive, also known as a living will, to let your family know what types of life-sustaining measures you want implemented or avoided if you should become unable to make those decisions known (so they don’t have to make these excruciatingly difficult decisions)
- The creation of a trust (in some situations) to allow your family to avoid probate, save on estate taxes, protect your minor children and keep your wishes private
- Information about the transfer of your business to specific people
- Addition of a layer of protection for your blended family to ensure your loved ones are provided for pursuant to your wishes
With all of these different estate plan pieces intact, your surviving family will have a more complete picture of your wishes: measures you want taken or avoided if you are incapacitated while you are still living as well as how you want your estate divided after you pass.
To be honest, none of this is pleasant to think about. No one wants to consider the possibility of becoming seriously injured or even dying. However, the more you plan ahead for these unthinkable events, the easier you can rest knowing that you have done everything possible to protect your loved ones.
The Denver estate planning lawyers at Brown & Crona, LLC are ready to meet with you, assess your current situation, discuss your goals and wishes and help you create an estate plan for your unique situation. Contact us today at (303) 339-3750 or send us a message online to start the conversation about your estate and the best ways to protect it.