Estate Planning Checklist 2016-11-28T20:34:18+00:00


Estate Planning Checklist

Estate planning can be a daunting process, but by checking things off one at a time, you can ensure that important financial and medical decisions are carried out exactly as you wish. Use this checklist to give yourself and your family peace of mind knowing that you’ve crafted a thorough

  • Have I met with my financial advisor and any legal professionals necessary to determine my estate planning needs?
  • Have I spoken to my family, friends and any beneficiaries about their role in my estate plan?
  • Do I own life insurance?
    • Is the policy up to date?
  • Have I created a last will and testament?
  • Does my last will and testament:
    • Clearly identify me as the testator?
    • Name an executor?
    • Name beneficiaries and specify the property each is to receive?
    • Name legal guardians for my dependents?
    • Include my signature as well as that of a notary?
  • Does my executor have access to all the documents he/she will
  • need to carry out my will?
  • Have I created a living will?
  • Does my living will:
    • Designate medical durable power of attorney?
    • Designate legal durable power of attorney?
    • Include advance directives, such as organ donation specifications?
    • Include my signature and that of a notary?
  • Have I created a letter of instruction?
  • Does my letter of instruction:
    • Outline my funeral wishes?
    • List my personal information (Social Security number, driver’s license number, important contacts, etc.)?
    • Include the location of valuable items such as spare keys or safe-deposit boxes and confidential information, such as security codes or passwords?
    • Include a complete list of my financial accounts?
    • Include copies and/or locations of valuable documents such as deeds, letter of instruction, birth/marriage/divorce certificates, will, living will, etc.?
    • Include a list of any debts (credit card, loan payments, etc.)?
  • Have I calculated my net worth and considered whether estate taxes will play a role in my planning?
    • If so, have I come up with a strategy to minimize these taxes?
  • Have I created a trust or trusts to hold any property I want to pass on?
  • Have I considered my philanthropic wishes and established a plan to give money to charity if I so choose?
  • Have I set up an account or plan to help my family cover funeral expenses?
  • If applicable, have I created a business succession plan?
  • Do I have a schedule set up to regularly check in with my financial advisor and legal professionals to re-evaluate my estate plan?