Everyone should have a great estate plan—no matter what your age or financial situation. This is the legal documentation that helps those around you know and understand your wishes for your ongoing health and financial care, and who should care for your minor children or dependents should you become mentally or physically incapacitated and unable to make decisions on your own or pass away.
With this estate planning checklist, you can begin to build a great estate plan in 3 simple steps.
Creating and filling out an estate planning checklist involves gathering information into a central location, designating those persons who will be responsible for carrying out your wishes, and establishing beneficiaries. It also involves putting into place the legal documentation that will uphold your decisions.
An estate plan differs from a will in several ways, and goes much further than a will. It protects your privacy (wills are public), can help you to reduce estate taxes, court costs and fees, and should minimize the probate process. If you own substantial assets, a trust or a business, it can help you establish a succession plan. In addition, it can help with complicated family or financial situations.
One of the most important reasons to build an estate plan is to protect your hard-earned assets, both during your lifetime and for your beneficiaries after your death. Without one, your beneficiaries could incur a long drawn-out process and costly expenses.
Working with your estate planning attorney will make the process easy. This estate planning checklist will help you on the road to building a great estate plan:
Gathering and bringing the items on this checklist isn’t necessary for your first appointment, but they will make the meeting more productive and move things along:
Related: 6 Estate Planning Must-Haves
Personal information will be needed for any spouse who will be included in your estate planning. Please be prepared to provide:
Personal information will be needed for children—adult, minor, and/or adopted—who will be included in your estate planning. Please be prepared to provide:
Information related to your current financial status and potential future inheritances will be needed. Please be prepared to provide information regarding:
Related: 3 Most Common Threats To Your Estate Plan
Please be prepared to list the person(s) and backup person(s) you may designate to handle the following in the event of your disability or death:
Please use full names, including middle initial (or middle name), and include any suffixes such as “Jr.,” “III,” etc. No nicknames, please.
Be assured that you do not need to understand all the legal aspects of these decisions. This list is for discussion purposes only. We will discuss these decisions when you are here for your conference. Please be prepared to provide this person(s)’:
Related: One Thing You Should NOT Do After Your Loved One Passes Away
Call (540) 722-2181 or fill out the short form below. We will usually respond within one business day and often the same day. Don’t hesitate. Your questions are welcome!
The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship.