About 10 years ago, financial advisor Andrew Rafal was involved in helping a husband and wife create an estate plan. Six days after all the documents were in order and signed, the husband unexpectedly died from an aneurysm.
Thanks to the couple's planning, the surviving wife was able to access and assume ownership of assets that otherwise would not have been available immediately.
"It would have been a very different situation if they hadn't finalized their estate plan," said Rafal, founder and president of Bayntree Wealth Advisors. "In a time of grieving, it's one less thing to go through."
While estate planning is often associated with the wealthy, financial advisors say that most Americans can benefit from it.