The estate planning process can seem like a mystery to many Quad Cities residents who are just getting started, but there are some crucial tips to keep in mind that can make the process less challenging. A recent news article discussed some of the tips and our readers could benefit from considering them when they begin to think about organizing their comprehensive estate plans.

For starters, think about the goals of estate planning. For most people, the primary goal is to make sure that a plan is in place that allows financial assets to pass to family members so that those loved ones have the appropriate amount of resources to support themselves. In some cases, a simple will can accomplish this goal. In others, trusts may be a better option.

Next, many people approach the estate planning process with the goal of limiting the tax exposure of their estate. This is a laudable goal, as reducing tax exposure means there is more in the way of financial assets to pass on to family members. However, each person’s financial situation is different, so the way to go about limiting tax exposure can vary greatly.

Lastly, remember that a comprehensive estate plan is not just about wills and trusts. Power of attorney documents can also be part of a plan. These important documents appoint a certain individual to make medical or financial decision if something happens and the drafter is not able to make those decisions on their own, like due to incapacitation.