Estate Planning Checklist: Everything you Need to Know

Wood blocks spelling out Estate Planning

Estate planning should never be taken lightly. So, if you’re beginning to take proactive steps to plan out yours, you might not be aware of all the different tasks you must complete along the way. Therefore, make sure you have everything covered by looking at our estate planning checklist. After all, it is essential to consider every detail.

Getting Started with an Estate Planning Checklist

Below are the most important steps to take to ensure your estate plan is prepared correctly and ready to be set in motion.

1.      Take an inventory of your items

This step of the estate planning checklist is self-explanatory, however crucial. Since everything you own in considered part of your estate, you need to take stock of it all.

From your home value and insurance policies to safety deposit boxes and physical assets, you need to account for everything to best preserve your estate as intended.

Man presenting forms to a client to be signed

2.      Consider your family’s needs

After you accurately tally all of your belongings, you must then start to account for your family and close ones’ needs. Although it might seem somber, it is important to answer questions like:

  • Do I have enough life insurance?
  • Who will be the guardian of my children?
  • How will my children be cared for?

By providing concrete answers to these significant questions beforehand, you will save your family from costly court fights that might drain your estate’s assets.

3.      Establish legal directives

When building out your complete estate plan, ensure that it includes comprehensive legal directives. A few of these might include a trust, medical care directive, durable financial power of attorney and limited power of attorney. Just be extra careful who you give it to, the position holds a lot of power!

Three documents: Estate Plan, Living Will, and Power of Attorney

4.      Identify beneficiaries

Even if you establish a will, it still may not be inclusive to all your wishes. To that end, you must individually assign beneficiaries and contingent beneficiaries for retirement plans, insurance accounts and other matters.

5.      Consider a professional

No matter which way you spin it, estate planning is a difficult, time-consuming task whether you have an estate planning checklist or not. Therefore, why not hire a trusted, experienced estate planning professional to take care of it for you?

That way, you know you’ll be receiving the highest level of expertise and that nothing important will fall through the cracks. And when you’re ready to get started, the team at Calabrese & Associates, CPA will be here to help! Contact us today to get started.

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