Basic Estate Planning Checklist

estate planning estate planning
  • Go over estate planning basics - what happens if either death or disability occur, family financial well-being, how to decrease estate taxes, appointing beneficiaries, etc.

  • Prepare ownership of assets - set up a direct transfer to a new owner for any item that has a title (or create joint owners)

  • Determine your beneficiaries - this stipulates who will receive the property after your death, without giving those people "current" ownership.

  • Anticipate debts/expenses with insurance policies - this includes burial expenses, and ensures all is paid for after death.

  • Draft the final will and testament - this covers probated property, care of children who are minors (or adult children with disabilities), and distribution of any property not under joint ownership

  • Appoint and executor of the estate outlined in your will, and someone you trust to be the guardian of any loved ones who need care

  • A living trust? Consider this for large estates or a large number of beneficiaries to distribute property and decrease taxes

  • Appoint a financial Power of Attorney (POA) - this person will act on your behalf if you no longer have mental capacity to take part, or upon your death (only as you stipulate)

  • Also consider appointing a health care POA - discuss your wishes for medical treatment & care in the event you are too ill to voice those interests or concerns

  • Create a living will (or an "advance directive") - this will go in conjunction with a heath care POA.

  • Draft any wishes/information for the Executor - this is not a legal document like the others, but rather words for guidance and last remaining desires (burial instructions, where to find docs, etc.)

This checklist was created by lucy3

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