Estate planning is one of those tasks that many people put off but should handle sooner rather than later. Estate planning is the process of creating a distribution plan for a person’s assets once that person passes away. Most people don’t like to talk about estate planning because the process brings them face to face with their mortality. Once they get past that feeling, they realize that setting up an estate plan is a form of care for their loved ones. It will help ensure that heirs are taken care of when they’re no longer there.

Complicated estates often require attorney assistance due to the sheer number and types of assets involved. Even estates that don’t have as many assets can benefit from attorney assistance because an attorney will help ensure that everything is distributed properly and according to the laws of the state.

Before working with an attorney, there are some things that people can do to prepare themselves for the estate planning process. They can do a complete financial overview of everything they own. This includes the value of any insurance they have, homes or other real estate in their names, cars and even debts that they’re responsible for. The estate planning process can also include putting together a master directory, which could be easily created in a program like Excel or Word. It will function as a sort of bible that holds the details of all of assets and debts. It can list out exactly where each asset is located.

People can also write out plans for their personal property. This would be perfect for people who have valuable items that they’d like to leave to specific heirs. This plan could even be a smart move for personal items that may not have much monetary value but instead hold a lot of sentimental value for a family. Putting this list together can help ensure that there’s no fighting among the beneficiaries once the assets are ready to be distributed.

People who need assistance with estate planning may benefit by working with attorneys who have experience in this area of law. An individual’s attorney may explain the complicated rules surrounding estate planning and draft the client’s will and other necessary documents.