Estate planning can be intimidating if the estate planner is not familiar with the process or what to expect but if they understand the process and know what to expect, they will also understand the benefits. The estate planning process can provide peace of mind for the estate planner and family members, among other benefits as well. Understanding the basics of estate planning is crucial to understanding how to set up an effective estate plan.

Drafting estate planning documents ahead of time can ensure that the estate planner’s wishes related to property and health care are honored and that their loved ones are cared for according to their wishes. An estate plan can effectively account for the estate planner’s assets including bank accounts; real estate; stocks and securities; life insurance policies; and personal property including cars, jewelry, artwork and other items as well. An estate plan can also account for the estate planner’s wishes related to their health and financial affairs should they become incapacitated and unable to communicate those wishes themselves.

Estate planning documents to help achieve the estate planner’s wishes should include a will, advanced healthcare directive and power of attorney document. In addition, depending on the circumstances, a trust can also be a useful component of an estate plan for estate planners to consider. Effective estate planning can also take into account important tax concerns to help minimize taxes or ensure that a guardian is appointed for minor children if that is one of the estate planner’s concerns.

Estate planning does not have to be overwhelming and through the use of helpful estate planning tools and documents, can even be a simple process. A comprehensive estate plan can offer peace of mind for both the estate planner and their family and is worth the time investment.

Source: Estate.findlaw.com, “What is Estate Planning?” Accessed May 8, 2018