Estate plans are not just for the wealthy – individuals with estates of any size can benefit from creating a plan for what should happen upon their death or incapacitation. It can provide a piece of mind regardless of how much you have in assets.

An estate plan encompasses a large umbrella of needs, including the creation of a will, trusts and other directives for what to do after you pass away. Here are 3 reasons any individual can benefit from estate planning:

 

 

1. Your family has less to worry about

Your family will be in an emotional state and may not be able to determine what your wishes would be if they don’t have directions. Additionally, if you don’t establish how your assets should be divided, it can lead to fighting. This doesn’t have to be just money – your children may have a connection to jewelry or other possessions of yours they would want to hold onto as a remembrance. These fights can get so severe that they damage relationships. Give your family peace of mind and make these decisions yourself, so that all they have to focus on is supporting one another in their grief.

2. You retain the power to make healthcare decisions

When you create an estate plan, you can name an agent to have healthcare power of attorney. This individual makes all medical decisions on your behalf if you become so incapacitated that you cannot do it yourself. These can include selecting medical procedures, medications and executing end-of-life wishes. You can outline all of your medical preferences ahead of time, and your agent simply has to execute those decisions.

3. You retain the power to make financial decisions

Similarly to a healthcare power of attorney, you can name an agent to be your financial power of attorney. This person controls your investments, pays your bills and manages all financial accounts for you while you are incapacitated. This can keep you from racking up debt while you are in the hospital.

No matter your estate size, the comfort a plan can bring you and your loved ones is worth the time it takes you map out your wishes.