Estate planning is a process by which a person designs a strategy and prepares documents to conserve, protect, and distribute estate assets before and after death for the benefit of loved ones and charities, taking into consideration the effect of state and federal tax and administrative laws and regulations. It can also involve planning for the use of your assets for your care if you become unable to manage your affairs during your lifetime.

On the financial side, a good estate plan coordinates what would happen with your home, your investments, your business, your life insurance, your employee benefits (such as a 401K plan), and other property in the event you became disabled or when you die.

On the personal side, a good estate plan includes directions to carry out your wishes regarding health care matters, so that if you ever are unable to give the directions yourself, someone you select would do that for you, and know when you would want them to authorize or refuse heroic measures.