Planning for the future, particularly estate planning, can be stressful and confusing, but addressing your estate and medical directives is extremely important regardless of your circumstances. Estate planning ensures that you have a blueprint for the future, no matter what life brings.

shutterstock_130170536Many people believe that they do not possess sufficient assets to require an estate plan, but it’s not just your assets that need protecting; it’s your family. Emotions run high after a death or health incident and even in the best of circumstances, the added stress can lead to fighting within a family when there are disagreements on who will care for you or how your assets will be divided. A clear estate plan can protect your assets, but it can also protect your family’s relationships.

Using a clearly prepared will and supporting estate documents allows you to state how your assets will be distributed and name guardians for your children when you die and clearly communicate your wishes for your care in the case of catastrophic injury. If you die without an estate plan, those decisions will be left to a court. Making an estate plan can help you avoid the hassles and cost of probate, reduce your estate taxes, and protect your children’s well-being and finances.