Peace of mind is important in everyday life. You deal with everything from family relationships to difficult job decisions and do what you can to keep a step ahead of day-to-day stress.

However, what about the long term? No one wants to think about what might happen decades from now, but you should. That is why estate planning is so important for you and your family.

How to get the conversation started

Talking about estate planning is awkward. Young people think they can put it off because they have all the time in the world. Others may worry you are mentioning it because you have a life-threatening health issue.

You should not force the issue by bringing it up out of nowhere. An appropriate time can be when retirement and similar topics are under discussion.

You may begin by mentioning an article you saw online or in the news. You can say you found the topic interesting and ask other people for their opinions.

Key issues to address through estate planning

Estate planning starts with your will. Update the document from time to time so it is current.

Entrust someone with financial power of attorney. He or she will be in charge of your financial and legal affairs when needed.

You should also entrust someone with medical power of attorney. He or she will make health-related decisions if you are unable.

Other issues include an advanced medical directive and life insurance. You also need an executor for your estate and may need to name a guardian for your children.

You cannot cover every topic in a single conversation about estate planning. Whenever you do address each topic, review every issue in detail so everyone understands what will happen and why.

Planning now to avoid problems later

Estate planning should be part of everyone’s lives. You are not making life more difficult for anyone. In fact, you are making it easier.

For your family’s peace of mind, make the hard decisions now. Leaving them to others can create animosity among loved ones about your wishes.