Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone.
Despite the words he reportedly uttered, Picasso was willing to die without planning his estate. It took years for his heirs to reach a settlement with French authorities. Although you may not have masterpieces to bequeath, you have no excuse not to take elementary steps to make life easier on those you'd leave behind. Covering the basics shouldn't cost more than $1,500.
To find a lawyer, ask friends and colleagues for recommendations or get referrals online at the website of the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys (aaepa.com). For tips on dividing emotion-laden personal belongings--more often the flash point for family tension than money or big-ticket items--check out the website Who Gets Grandma's Yellow Pie Plate? (yellowpieplate.umn.edu).