You play a crucial role in developing a good estate plan. You have to take the initiative to find the right estate planning professional to work with. And you need to be engaged in the planning process every step of the way. One of the most important things you can do is educate yourself. Although you do not need to understand all the technicalities involved in estate planning, you need a basic understanding of what can be achieved given the extent of your estate and the needs of your loved ones. Moreover, you need to know how to avoid common pitfalls that have bedeviled people from all walks of life, from the rich and famous
to those of modest means.