An Estate is the entirety of a property, real and personal, owned by an individual prior to distribution through a trust or will.
Estate planning is the process by which an individual, or nuclear family with the person's consent and approval, arranges the transfer of assets to heirs or other beneficiaries. The reason for this is to provide the family, or anonymous miscellaneous beneficiaries, with legal rights to the property after the individual has passed away.
If you're concerned about the hows and whys of your estate, and the future security of your loved ones, you owe it to yourself to consider an estate plan. Evaluate some of the benefits of estate planning, and realize that regardless of the size of your estate, there are many alternatives for accomplishing your planning goals.