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 to family members, loved ones, charities, and other organizations. Critically, these plans take into consideration the effects of state and federal taxes 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 401(k) plan), and other property or assets 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.