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  • Writer's pictureSarah Morris Ocampo

What Is The Difference Between A Will And An Estate Plan?

Updated: Jun 20

In this blog post, we are exploring a crucial topic for anyone interested in planning for the future—understanding the difference between a will and an estate plan. 

What is a Will?

A will is the most basic type of estate planning. It's a legal instrument specifying how your assets should be dispersed upon death. 

If you have a will, then you already have an estate plan. This short agreement outlines who will receive your goods, who will handle your estate, and who will be appointed executor—in charge of hiring a lawyer and managing the probate procedure.

Understanding the Basics of an Estate Plan

An estate strategy includes more than simply a will. It is a thorough plan that details what should happen to your assets and dependents after you are no longer alive. 

It establishes explicit instructions for dividing your property, caring for minor children, and other matters, ensuring that your intentions are carried out while minimizing legal problems.

Levels of Estate Planning

While a will is necessary, it is considered the most basic type of estate planning. Choose from various alternative estate planning options depending on your goals and circumstances.

The Living Trust: A Step-Up

Depending on your situation, having a living trust rather than just a will might be a good idea.  A living trust lets you disperse your assets while saving time and money by skipping the probate process. A living trust allows your assets to be transferred more discreetly and efficiently after death.

Why Consider More Than Just a Will?

While a will is necessary, enhancing your estate plan can provide more extensive protection for your legacy and family members. Using tools such as living trusts, powers of attorney, and healthcare directives can provide additional security and peace of mind, depending on your circumstances.

Next Steps: Seeking Professional Help

Estate planning can appear overwhelming, but it does not have to be. Whether you want to create a will, a living trust, or a more comprehensive estate plan, talking with an experienced attorney can make all the difference. We advise individuals to seek professional counsel customized to their personal needs. 


Recognizing the distinction between a will and an estate plan is critical for successful future planning. While a will is essential to any estate plan, other options, such as living trusts, can give more comprehensive protection and peace of mind. 

Do not hesitate to contact Ocampo Wiseman Law knowledgeable estate planning attorney to ensure your desires are adequately documented and your loved ones are cared for.

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