With the New Year comes New Year’s resolutions. Though these goals are made with the best intentions, come March, they have often slipped your mind. But making plans for the future, taking control of a situation or navigating challenging conversations should never just be a temporary goal that gets pushed aside.

This year, think about whether your plans are in place – both for yourself and your loved ones. Make sure you have everything taken care of and that it’s legally binding. Whether it’s having the conversation you’ve been avoiding or finally sitting down and putting your wishes into writing, now is the time to start the year off on the right foot. Here are some places to start.

Wills, trusts and other documents

Did you have a will written up after your first child was born … 35 years ago? If it hasn’t been updated since, it might be a good time to revisit those decisions and update everything. This also applies for your parents. Do you know if they even have a will? Have they set up any trusts that you and your siblings should know about? Finding all of this critical information out is important to do now rather than when it’s too late to have the conversation.

Finally addressing the issue

Has there been a lingering issue regarding taking care of your parents or loved ones? Are there family disputes that still need resolution? If your family has not been able to decide how best to care for your loved ones – both personally and financially – it’s time to face this concern head on.

Elder law mediation is an option that is generally well suited for families. It can help avoid costly and stressful legal proceedings while also facilitating positive and open communications between family members. Being able to find solutions while also remaining on good terms with everyone in your family is extremely important, and mediation may be the best way to get there.

Starting off the New Year by tackling some of the tougher issues can help ensure you are prepared the coming year – and the rest of your life.