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The difference between a will and an estate plan

Individuals in Colorado and throughout the country can benefit from having a will. However, this not as comprehensive as an estate plan. A thorough estate plan can make it easier for a person to state his or her intentions clearly. That clarity may prevent family members from fighting each other for assets after the estate owner passes away. To increase the odds that a will's instructions will be carried out, the right decision makers need to be put in place.

An executor is the person who will look over the estate and distribute assets according to the deceased person's instructions. If assets were left for a minor beneficiary, the executor may be tasked with distributing those assets using his or her best judgment. By including a statement of intent with a will or trust, the executor can make decisions that align with the deceased individual's wishes.

An estate plan should also include a statement of net worth that lays out all the assets. This should include any debt or other liabilities that an individual may have upon passing. Creating this list can make it clear what an item is worth and how it should be split among family members.

With help from an estate planning attorney, one can create a solid plan for the future. By avoiding legal challenges to a will or other plan documents, families can focus on getting closure after a loved one passes as opposed to spending time in court. Additionally, by not spending money on legal fees, beneficiaries will receive a larger share of their inheritance. Attorneys may be able to help draft or review any plan documents that already exist.

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