Skip to Content

We are a Veteran Owned Business, providing 20% discounts for Veterans, First Responders, Elementary and High School teachers. Please contact us to set up a phone or Zoom meeting. Taking care of you and your family, It's What We Do!

Klenk Law

What is the difference between will and estate planning?

Posted on Thu Jun 18, 2020, on Estate Planning

From Our “Ask a Question,” Mailbag: “What is the difference between will and estate planning?”

"What

What is the difference between will and estate planning?

Whether you are doing Estate Planning in Pennsylvania, Estate Planning in New Jersey, or any state, this question comes up all the time. In short, a Will is part of your Estate Plan. So, when you are doing Estate Planning, you will consider many documents, including a Will. Let me give you some details. 

What exactly is an Estate Plan?

First, realize that you have an estate. It might be just clothing and a Television, but those are your things.  Your estate is the total of your assets (and liabilities). Many estates include a bank account, a 401k or IRA, a home, and automobiles. Some estates are large, some small.  Your Plan is what happens to all these things when you die. You may have an active Plan that reflects your wishes, or you may have an inactive plan implemented by the Government.

You Already Have An Estate Plan (It just might be a bad one).

If you have not done a formal estate plan with an estate planning attorney, then the state steps in and makes a plan for you. Call it a default plan. If you die without doing a Will or Revocable Trust, then your estate passes through the Rules of Intestacy.  For example, follow this link for the New Jersey Rules of Intestacy. Each state has intestacy rules. It could be that the default plan is okay with you, but for most people, it is not satisfactory.  For example, in Pennsylvania if you die without a will while married and no children, 1/2 your probate estate passes to your parents, and NOT to your spouse.

A Will is Part of Your Estate Plan.

A typical plan includes a Will, Power of Attorney, and Living Will Medical Power of Attorney.  Here is a quick introduction, but if you want more details, follow this link to Estate Planning All You Need to Know.

The Will dictates who gets your things at your death. Your Will may include a protective trust for your spouse to help shelter them from future creditors and their next spouse. If you have children, the Will also forms protective trusts. Trusts for minor children put a trusted person in charge of the money to property provide for their care. For older children, the child is often the trustee, and the trust’s purpose is to shelter assets from their potential divorce(s).

The Financial Power of Attorney appoints your Agent. This Agent has the power to act for you financially. If you are ever incapacitated, this person can write checks, sell your house, pay your taxes, and more.

The Living Will and Medical Power of Attorney appoint your Surrogate. This Surrogate makes medical decisions for you if you become incapacitated. These decisions could be if you have surgery or not and what doctor you see. The document also gives the Surrogate the power to remove you from medical care.

More Detail.

For more detailed information Wills, see my article “Last Wills and Testament All You Need to Know.”

In Conclusion: What is the difference between will and estate planning.

I hope you found helpful this short article about What is the difference between will and estate planning.  I have also included some links for more detailed information. If you are curious about updating your Will, Power of Attorney, or Living Will, contact us and let our Estate Planning Lawyers help walk you through what can be a confusing process. In fact, feel free to contact our office for a free consultation. 

Wills, Trusts, Probate, and Estate Litigation, It’s All We Do!

It’s What We Do!

Tags:

Estate Planning, Estate Planning Attorney, Estate Planning Lawyer, will

What Our clients are saying

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

AWESOME LAWYER! Peter Klenk is an exceptional attorney and a very nice person! Today I spoke with Peter about estate planning and was impressed with by his professionalism, cordiality, and attention to detail. I highly recommend Klenk Law for probates, wills, trusts, and other issues germane to estate planning!

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

Excellent, knowledgeable team handled a complicated issue with superb results.

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

Peter provided outstanding advice and preparation of a will and trusts.

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

Peter Klenk ESQ is a thoughtful and capable attorney who we work with on estate planning issues. His firm recently provided us with new Wills, Power of Attorneys and our instructions regarding major health issues. These documents are important for estate and life planning. Peter and his team are masters in the complexities of Estate Law. We highly recommend Peter and his Associates to provide thoughtful advice and outstanding work on these complex issues of the law. Make sure your estate planning documents are up to date, and Peter can be relied on to do an excellent job. Well done Peter!

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

Everything about my experience was a 10+! Peter and his staff made what I thought would be a difficult process easy and understandable. Every detail was handled correctly. No other firm could possibly do better than Klenk Law!

Let us put our expertise to work for you.

Free consultation within 24 hours.