What happens to an individual’s estate after they are gone is very much within their control. Estate planning is not only for the wealthy; it is for everyone. It is simply the process of deciding where your assets are to be distributed after your death. For those people who wish to preserve their assets for designated purposes, such as family or special charities, it becomes necessary to make special advance preparations. Performing these important preparations is commonly referred to as estate planning. For an individual to help ensure that his assets are protected and final wishes carried out, there are some common actions that need to be taken now. Proper estate planning allows you to plan for yourself and your loved ones without giving up control of your affairs. Your estate plan should allow for the possibility of your own disability. It should give what you own to whom you want, at a time of your choosing, the way you want. Your estate plan should include fully disclosed, controlled costs for you and for those you love. The last thing you want to worry about is having it drained of value through taxes and legal costs. The right plan can protect the value of your estate and spare your loved ones unnecessary hassles.