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Understanding the Difference between a Will and Estate Plan

Understanding the Difference between a Will and Estate Plan

Creating wills and estate plans essentially refer to choosing heirs and appointing guardians. They ensure that your loved ones will not suffer financially upon your death. You can rest in peace knowing that your ward will be cared for after your death, and not left at the mercy of fate.

Wills and estate plans are important legal documents. Some people think that both are the same. However, this is not necessarily the case. In this article, we will explain the difference between the two so that you can make an informed decision.

The Difference Between Wills and Estate Plans

A will is a legally binding document that contains information about the distribution of assets after your death. Also, you can appoint guardians through a will to look after your relatives who need assistance due to old age or infirmity. An up-to-date will ensures that your assets will be distributed according to your wishes, and that your loved ones will not face financial hardships after your death.

An estate plan, on the other hand, is a more broad term. Estate planning is the process of arranging the distribution of assets in a way that results in maximum benefits to the beneficiaries. A Chicago estate planning attorney can help you in creating a plan that ensures that taxes and associated expenses are minimized.

With an estate plan, you can give direction regarding additional matters that cannot be handled by a will — even if they are mentioned in a will. An estate plan typically, but not necessarily, includes the following.

  • Wills
  • Trusts
  • Power of attorney
  • Beneficiary designations
  • Superannuation
  • Property transfer
  • Transfer of financial assets

Estate planning guarantees that your loved ones are left with the maximum possible proceeds from your estate. With an estate plan, you can name a guardian or trustee who can ensure that appropriate protections are in place for the beneficiaries, to ensure smooth transfer of business assets, to purchase your shares, and also to guarantees that the superannuation is distributed among the beneficiaries according to your wishes.


The purpose of wills and estate plans is to ensure that your family members receive continuing care after your demise. The popular notion that wills and estate plans are for the rich is not true. Anyone who owns a car, house, bank accounts, business, and other assets can create a will/estate plan to transfer the assets to the loved ones.

For professional help regarding creating a will or estate plan, you should contact a professional estate planning lawyer in Chicago, IL. It is never too late to contact an attorney for the planning of your estate. You can get expert professional help regarding your estate by contacting Chicago Estate Lawyer.

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Chicago Estate Planning Lawyer

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