A new year brings with it the promise of forming new habits aimed at becoming happier and healthier. These resolutions usually revolve around physical fitness and fiscal responsibility. One of the items you need to tackle is your estate plan. If you have estate documents, how long ago were they drafted? If you do not have anything in place, now is the time to do it.

While estate planning may not rank high on the to-do list this year or any other year for many people, it is a crucial part of life that needs addressing.

Change in life circumstance

You may have created a will at the behest of your parents years ago. Chances are your circumstances have changed quite a bit since you drafted it. Maybe you got married and had children, or perhaps your portfolio has expanded. No matter the changes, it is imperative you revisit your old documents to account for your new life.

Revisit beneficiary information

You may have left control of your estate to a parent or a close family friend. Make sure that person is still relevant. If you got married, you and your spouse should draft wills naming each other as the beneficiary. If you got divorced, you may want to take a former spouse out of your will completely.

Update contact information

Did you always live in Florida? Many people relocate to the Sunshine State and never change their estate documents. Consult with a local representative who can assist you in getting relevant information updated as needed.

Not having a plan is messy

You may never have taken the time to draft an estate plan. No matter what your current situation is, having a directive mapping out your final wishes saves your family difficulty upon your passing.

Estate planning does not need to conjure unpleasant thoughts or feelings. Think of it as a way to ensure that your plans get fulfilled your way. Having a plan just means helping your heirs and successors get through a sad time with a little less stress and worry.