Most of us live life in the moment. Thoughts of retirement or even our own mortality rarely, if ever, cross our minds. However, that does not mean that we should never think about our estate plan. In fact, it’s never too early to start putting together an estate plan.

The fact that nearly half of people over the age of 55 don’t have a will in place shows the need for more people to take estate planning seriously. Taking action now can help better prepare you and your loved ones for the future.

An estate plan is about more than distributing your assets

When most people think of estate planning, they think of a last will and testament. While a will is an essential component of any estate plan, a comprehensive plan should involve so much more.

Your family’s future

If you are married or have children, an estate plan can help you plan for your family’s future. You may wish to ensure that your assets pass on to your spouse. It is important to name a trusted guardian for your children in the event of a tragedy.

An estate plan can also benefit yourself

Estate planning is about more than your family’s future. It can also help you assert your wishes. Establishing powers of attorney enables you to name a trusted individual who will make healthcare and financial decisions on your behalf should you ever become temporarily or permanently incapacitated.

Give yourself and your loved ones peace of mind

While these may not be the most pleasant things to think about, these considerations are important. Think of your estate plan as a type of insurance policy. Hopefully, you and your loved ones will never have to rely on its protections. However, having the peace of mind that comes with knowing your loved ones will be taken care of is invaluable.