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6 things your estate plan can do

Think about how much time you've put into building your estate. Now think about how much time you've spent doing estate planning.

For most people, it's not even close. They may not have planned at all. This can be problematic. Your estate plan can do a lot of different things to help your heirs, and it's wise to consider it well before your own passing.

First off, it just makes your wishes known. The kids don't have to wonder what you would have wanted.

You also may be able to cut back on what you need to pay in taxes -- or what your heirs will need to pay. This helps ease the burden on them.

Furthermore, your estate plan lets you pick someone to divide your estate and oversee the entire process. Who do you trust the most? Who is best suited to the job? You can make sure that person has the power that he or she needs.

Remember, you may need someone to make medical or financial decisions for you while you're still alive. Your plan can give them that legal power as well.

Overall, it just helps to make your wishes for your estate very clear. Who gets what assets? Do you want to leave money to charity? What should be done with property that can't be divided, like your home?

Don't put this off. Accidents, injuries, and diseases can crop up at any time. Your estate plan is worth considering in advance. Be sure you know your legal rights and all of the options you have.

Source: Health New Pulse, "Talk to Your Clients About Estate Planning," Susan Peters, accessed June 22, 2017

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