Ohio residents make many New Year’s resolutions, and January is the month when most of them will try to keep them. While some may choose to increase exercise or eat healthier, another important resolution that should be made is to create a comprehensive estate plan.

One of the first steps that one should take that is to write a last will and testament. This is a necessary document for anyone over the age of 18. Without a will, state laws dictate how assets and property will be distributed to one’s heirs and who will get custody of one’s minor children. Family conflicts can be avoided by taking the time to create a well thought-out will outlining the disposition of one’s assets and the guardianship of one’s minor children.

A power of attorney is another important document to have, as it appoints someone to act as an agent if the person is unable to make financial decisions for him or herself. A health care proxy acts in the same manner, authorizing an agent to make important medical decisions on behalf of someone who is unable to do so themselves. A life insurance policy can provide funds for a person’s surviving family members after the breadwinner passes away.

The new year should bring with it the resolution to ensure one’s loved ones are protected for the future. Every adult should aim to create several estate planning documents and review existing ones, while they are still able to do so themselves. Professionals are available to help those who have estate planning questions.