The beginning of a new year is a time when people reset their priorities and set goals to make the coming year better than the last year.

These resolutions can help people improve aspects of their lives that require more than a quick fix. For instance, perhaps you resolve to get your finances in order, or you want to be better about planning for the future. Maybe you want to finally tackle some difficult decisions about your health. These and other goals can be achieved by creating an estate plan.

When you create your estate plan, you go through the steps of assigning people to take care of your children or make decisions on your behalf. You also decide how you want your assets distributed if the worst should happen. You might also take more advanced steps like setting up a trust or transferring assets to ensure you and your loved ones do not lose critical financial support.

Therefore, having an estate plan can accomplish many important objectives. It allows you to:

  • Organize your finances
  • Formalize health care and legal wishes so others do not have to guess at what you would want if you are incapacitated or pass away
  • Make a plan to provide for your children and other loved ones
  • Protect assets
  • Avoid unnecessary financial losses
  • Feel confident that your loved ones can avoid painful legal disputes and decisions in the aftermath of a serious accident or death

Unfortunately, despite these and other advantages of having an estate plan, people often put it off.

However, the start of a new year can provide the perfect opportunity to finally take care of this and other projects you have procrastinated on. In fact, as a recent Forbes article notes, planning your legacy with an estate plan is one of the smartest money moves a person can make in 2019. And over time, reviewing your plan and beneficiaries at the start of a new year can become a valuable routine that ensures your planning stays accurate and current.