Skip to content

Estate Planning Checklist

Estate planning is a process that everyone should go through, regardless of their age or wealth. It involves making important decisions about how you want your assets and affairs to be handled after you pass away. Here’s a checklist of things to consider when creating an estate plan:

  1. Take Inventory of Your Assets: Make a list of all your assets, including bank accounts, retirement accounts, investments, real estate, and personal property. Knowing what you have and how it’s owned is important for determining how to distribute it.

  2. Think About Your Beneficiaries: Decide who you want to receive your assets and how you want them distributed. Consider your family members, friends, charities, and other organizations you want to support.

  3. Appoint an Executor: Choose someone you trust to carry out your wishes and wrap up your affairs. This could be a family member, a friend, or a professional executor.

  4. Consider a Trust: If you have substantial assets or special circumstances, a trust may be a good option for you. A trust can help you avoid probate, reduce taxes, and manage your assets during your lifetime.

  5. Draft a Will: A will is a legal document that outlines how you want your assets distributed after your death. It is important to work with an experienced attorney to draft a valid will that complies with your state’s laws.

  6. Name Guardians for Minors: If you have children under 18, choose someone to care for them in the event of your death. This person will be responsible for their well-being and financial support.

  7. Plan for Disability: Consider drafting documents such as a medical power of attorney, durable power of attorney, and living will to ensure that your wishes are followed in the event you become incapacitated.

  8. Review and Update Regularly: Your estate plan should be reviewed and updated as circumstances change, such as a birth, death, marriage, divorce, relocation, or significant changes in your financial situation.

Estate planning can be a complex and emotional process, but with the right support and guidance, you can create a plan that protects your loved ones and ensures your wishes are carried out.