Estate Planning Checklist
10 Steps for Creating an Effective Estate Plan: Here is a convenient checklist to help you plan for the future.
Your will allows you to state who will inherit your property and if you have young children, your will allows you to name a guardian to care for them should something happen to both you and the other parent.
Holding your property in a living trust lets your survivors avoid probate court which is an expensive and time-consuming process.
Documenting your wishes for health care provisions will help protect you if you become incapacitated or unable to make medical decisions on your own. Your living will informs your family and health care providers about your wishes for medical treatment.
A Power of Attorney allows you to give someone you trust the authority to handle your property and finances if you become unable to handle your own affairs. A POA only becomes effective when you instruct your agent to act or when you become unable to make appropriate decisions.
Name an adult to manage any property or assets you would like your children under the age of 18 to inherit from you. This person can be the same individual you name as their personal guardian in your will.
It is very important to name beneficiaries for your bank accounts and retirement plans. Ensure you review these documents regularly to ensure they are up to date and in accordance with your wishes.
If you own a house, have young children or owe substantial debts or estate taxes, it may be a good idea to incorporate Life Insurance into your estate planning.
You will want to ensure that your comprehensive estate plan guards your assets from undue taxation and probate issues. Talk to an experienced estate planning attorney to learn more about how your circumstances are affected by estate taxes.
Be clear about what type of funeral arrangements you want and what should happen to your remains upon your death.
Ensure that your estate planning attorney has access to the following documents:
- Real Estate Deeds
- Insurance Policies
- Certificates for Stocks and Bonds
- Bank Account Information
- Retirement Plan, IRA and 401 (k) Information
- Mortgage Documents
- Funeral Plans
While this list serves as a starting off point, be sure to consult with an experienced estate planning attorney to ensure that all the details of your estate plan are in order.
Our trusted Pittsburgh estate planning attorneys at Fingeret Law want to help you plan for the future. To discuss your specific needs with us, please call us at 412.281.8222 or contact us online.