When it comes to estate planning, many people may like to think that their current activities will not be needed for many years to come.
This is especially true for those who are responsible for the care of young children - as the thought of having to take their needs into account in their absence can be an unpleasant experience.
But rather than viewing the process as a negative situation to be avoided, planning for the care and education of loved ones can conversely be one of the most generous acts.
While the law does provide certain avenues that require the care of dependants to form a part of the division of an estate, these plans may have little in the way of a personal touch - as the individual in charge of the procedure may have little to do with the family concerned.
In turn this means that the wishes and desires of the deceased will have little impact on the final arrangements.
On top of this, should an individual die intestate - without a legal will in place - they could leave the family in a position where conflicting values come to the fore, resulting in an estate dispute.
In order to help prevent this scenario from occurring, a will needs to be drafted with qualified advice from a reliable source, leaving no room for misunderstandings or error.
The needs and situations of dependants should be considered carefully during this stage - including living arrangements, education needs and providers of care - with the personal circumstances being reflected on at length before a final decision is made.
To help the beneficiaries understand the reasoning behind the choices laid out in the will, it may also be a good idea to consult with family members and dependants throughout the process.
As well as seeking the assistance of an expert, the estate planning process should include a named executor who will oversee the distribution of the authors worldly assets.
In addition to these tasks, the executor is often the individual responsible for taking care of the funeral arrangements, as well as disposing of any debts the deceased may have left behind.
With advancements in health and education meaning that people are surviving for longer, there is the chance that they will be able to accumulate more in the way of assets - meaning that estate planning will take on an even greater role in ensuring the care and prosperity of future generations.