Is having a will the same as having an estate plan?

On Behalf of | Aug 13, 2021 | Estate Planning

Colorado residents who like to plan ahead may have already considered creating a will or perhaps already have one in place. If you are thinking about creating a will of your own, you may understandably have many questions. It is not easy to know what you should include in such an important document or whether the document can cover all the information you want to provide.

It is important to know that creating a will is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to creating an estate plan. Many individuals confuse having a will with having an estate plan, but in reality, a will is typically only a part of a more comprehensive plan.

Is it OK to have just a will?

The exact documents that a person needs in a plan is subjective. If you do not have many assets, do not have extensive family and do not plan on leaving much behind after your passing, you may feel that a will could cover everything you intend your surviving loved ones to need in order to close your estate successfully. So, for some people, having just a will is a perfectly acceptable amount of estate planning.

On the other hand, you may specific assets that you feel the need to protect, or perhaps you have multiple children or other close relatives who you want to benefit from your assets in a specific way. You may also want to ensure that someone you trust is in charge of your affairs in the event that you suffer a serious illness or injury and need care. In that case, taking additional estate planning measures may suit your interests.

What else can you include?

Fortunately, various planning tools exist for individuals to create plans that suit their specific and personal needs. For example, you may want to consider including any of the following documents for a more comprehensive plan:

  • Power of attorney documents
  • Trusts
  • Healthcare directives
  • Funeral arrangement instructions

You may also want to remember that even if you do not have a substantial amount of wealth, including more documents than just a will could still benefit you and your loved ones. The manner in which these planning tools could work for you depend on your specific assets, wishes, estate and more. Gaining additional information how these options could help you feel secure with your estate plan may be beneficial.