The best time to plan your estate is now. The lack of an estate plan creates complexity, anxiety, and potential chaos for those left behind. An estate plan allows you to decide how your assets are handled during your lifetime and at your death. Your estate plan should be structured to pursue your personal objectives and maximize wealth passed on to the heirs and charities, while minimizing taxes and other expenses. Without proper planning, larger estates may be faced with settlement costs and sizeable death taxes that could necessitate the sale of a long-held family business or an important asset that was hoped to be passed on to loved ones.