Estate planning is not a simple process for most people, despite how little their assets may be. It is often a complex system of laws, filled with clauses, exemptions, stipulations and more. How does the average person manage to create a satisfying estate plan? One step at a time.

Legal oversight is crucial to the success of an estate plan. And getting started is often the hardest part of the process. Once individuals and families get together and start discussing inheritance and future responsibility, the better off their estate plan will be.

Here are some easy steps that will guide you toward a winning estate plan:

Wills & trusts – Be sure to discuss your options pertaining to wills and trusts. A will outlines your intended heirs for the assets you have. A living trust will spare your loved ones the complicated probate process when a piece of property is included in a trust.

Health care & financial power of attorney – When you setup healthcare directives and a financial power of attorney, you are protecting your health and finances from being mishandled. You should state what type of treatment and care you want before you are in an incapacitated state. An incapacitated state leaves you at the mercy of loved ones, who must use their own judgement on your health care needs. A financial power of attorney is just as important to the estate planning process.

Simplify the beneficiary process – Declaring a named beneficiary on a bank account and other monetary plans will help your heirs avoid probate. Some accounts offer you this option, to be payable upon your death. It is much easier to manage the transfer of assets without having to go through probate.

These are just some of the many steps you will need to take into consideration when developing an estate plan. The success of your plan depends on the needs you have and the wishes you have. Careful legal oversight is key when setting up an arrangement that protects your health, finances, and future.