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Why is estate planning important?

The common expression "out of sight, out of mind," is often used to describe conditions or issues that should be addressed but that are not encountered in everyday life and are subsequently often remain overlooked and unaddressed. This is especially true with a person planning for the future, including his or her estate planning.

In order to make certain that your wishes are met when it comes to your property and how it is allocated at the time of your death, it is important to develop a strong estate plan. An estate plan will assure that all your financial assets, including but not limited to your bank accounts, stocks and investments, life insurance policies, real estates and personal property are appropriately given to family, friends and charities of your choosing.

In addition to the division of your property upon your death, if there comes a time when you are sick or incapacitated and unable to make your own health decisions, you may have your wishes already established. This will also avoid any possible conflicts and family disputes that may arise concerning your health and well-being during times of poor health. You may also establish your funeral arrangements and make certain that the funeral-related expenses are properly handled. This will make things easier for your family and friends in mourning.

They say "the squeaky wheel gets the oil," and that may well be true. Unfortunately, when it comes to estate planning, there often is no squeaky reminder until it may be too late. It is in your best interests to start your estate planning sooner rather than later to avoid the possibility of an unforeseen situation preventing you from handling your estate planning and making certain your wishes are granted when it comes to your health care wishes and property.

Source: findlaw.com, "What is Estate Planning?" Accessed on Nov. 8, 2016

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