Since planning for an estate can be difficult, it’s no wonder that so many Connecticut residents aren’t prepared for the future. In a recent survey administered by Wells Fargo, the number of Americans lacking important documents was high. Approximately 40 percent of Americans don’t have the necessary estate plan documents in place to address potentially serious financial or health challenges.

These errors can be detrimental when in a vulnerable state. One in five Americans age 65 or older have reported being victims of financial abuse. However, proper planning can shield a person from these issues.

One of the most important steps an estate owner can take is to store all pertinent documents in a secure location accessible to parties who may need access to them. To that end, many people complete their estate plans by identifying minor goals that can be accomplished little by little. It’s important for one to have an advance health care directive, health care proxy and power of attorney for financial matters. Talking to family members about their wishes is another important step to take during the process. Although many view finances as a private matter, it is beneficial to communicate future goals to a loved one.

Furthermore, plans should be updated often. According to the survey, one in six Americans have documents that are outdated. When meeting with a financial advisor or attorney to map out strategies, one should consider updating plans.

In addition to talking to family members while in good health, a Connecticut resident should get help from an attorney experienced in estate planning. Legal counsel can assist with revocable trusts, asset distribution, will execution and other import estate planning topics.