What Is Estate Planning?

estate planning

What is estate planning and why should you do it? Estate planning is an opportunity to set out your intentions, values and priorities in the event that you are not able to articulate them in the future. It is more than just about having a will and reaches goals beyond distributing assets or bypassing probate. While those can result from the process, there are bigger goals to contemplate.

One benefit of estate planning that can be overlooked is the opportunity to reflect on whether life goals and opportunities are being pursued in a direct and optimal way. If the process of accounting for present assets, debts, opportunities and revenues does not match the desired direction, estate planning can be a time to implement changes.

Another benefit is to protect and preserve assets as well as to identify and fill in missing pieces. Wealth often is about more than just bank deposits. Sometimes a review of the situation can address imbalances or gaps before a damaging event or market swing.

It also is a means to put mechanisms in place to ensure a more secure future for family members, by providing continuity in business and financial matters and by making provisions for children and persons with special needs.

In summary, those who have put an estate plan in place can say that it’s their way to make an investment today to protect both family members and assets going forward. Changes – even major life changes – are inevitable over time. Beginning to manage them is as easy as asking to do so and the benefits can pay many times over the initial investment.