Photo of Karen Lavin

As the new year marches ever closer, it is time for adults to ensure their affairs are in order. This is the perfect time to get things situated so you can start the year off on the best foot possible. One thing you need to do right away is get your estate plan set. This can help your loved ones have a more secure future if something happens to you.

Shockingly, more than half of the adults in this country haven’t taken the time to create an estate plan. There are many factors to think about when you’re trying to create a plan that meets the needs of your situation. While you might be focused on what is going to happen to your assets when you pass away, don’t neglect to make plans in case you become incapacitated.

The components of your estate plan all come together to provide comprehensive instructions for the end of your life through your death. These include your will, trusts, advance directive and letter of instruction. If you have children, you also need to include information about guardianship.

Many people don’t realize that the tools available for estate planning are fairly flexible. It is often possible to mold the plan in a way that meets your specific and unique needs. While you are developing this comprehensive plan, you should prepare to discuss the specific points in it. Letting your heirs, or at least the executor, know what’s included in your estate gives them time to ask you questions and get clarifications if there are any needed.