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The importance of an effective estate plan

Estate planning is important for everyone to do. It can provide peace of mind for both the estate planner and their loved ones so that loved ones are not wondering what to do at the end of the estate planner's life or if the estate planner becomes become incapacitated and is unable to manage their financial affairs or direct their own healthcare.

An effective estate plan contains several components that can include a valid will, a properly executed trust and other documents, such as an advance healthcare directive and power of attorney, to designate a friend or loved one to direct the estate planner's medical care or financial affairs if the estate planner is unable to do so. The legal process provides tools to help estate planners establish a comprehensive estate plan that works best for them, including their wishes and desires for their estate and their assets.

Estate planning is by no means a one-size-fits all process but there are important foundational components of every estate plan. A valid will is an important part of any estate plan. There are a variety of necessary documents to have on hand when executing a will. In addition, it is critical for estate planners to understand what makes a will valid in their state and ensure their will meets all of those requirements. Keeping a will and an estate plan up-to-date is also essential so estate planners should know when to update their estate plan and will.

A good time to develop an estate plan and execute a will is today and, though they may sometimes want to, estate planners should not put it off. Understanding how the estate planning process works can help estate planners shed unnecessary anxiety around the process and executing a will that will care for their families and ensure their wishes are fulfilled.

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