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Estate planning can be for life planning as well as for death

In Minnesota and elsewhere, making plans for the end of one's life is something that people tend to put off, sometimes indefinitely. That represents a poor way to plan for the distribution of assets at death, and it sets an even poorer example of how one should organize his or her financial affairs during life. Good estate planning may be associated with a successful pattern of investing and a healthy financial level of achievement in life.

It can be helpful to view the estate plan as an indispensable part of one's financial affairs. The power of having everything set out to effectively maximize one's control over the distribution of his or her assets is a positive attribute. The best way to start on the process is to select an estate planning attorney along with a certified financial planner and any other relevant professionals going forward.

Estate planning can set goals for the growth of a person's assets while at the same time making provisions for the documents to kick in at the designated times, if and when they are needed. Experts say that estate planning can also be a way to put one's finances back on track and that estate and financial planning should be seamlessly connected. When working with a financial planner and the estate planning attorney, everything will be coordinated; the documents drawn up will be designed to provide the protection that one needs at each step along the way.

Some of the familiar estate planning documents that are included are a will, living will, powers of attorney and various trusts and other 'due on death' instruments that may or may not be chosen in any one particular case. Powers of attorney are generally used for all business powers and for health care directives. In Minnesota and all other states, the best course is to cooperate fully with one's attorney when going through the process of evaluating and selecting the best options available.

Source: Huffington Post, "Why Estate Planning Makes Sense at Any Age", Nathaniel Sillen, June 8, 2016

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