Creating Your Estate Plan
Estate planning is an important task that ensures that your assets are distributed according to your wishes and that your loved ones are taken care of after you are gone. Below is a checklist that will help you think about key issues when you are beginning the estate planning process or considering whether you need to revise your current documents.
Determine your priorities for distributing your assets and providing for your loved ones, including your spouse, children, grandchildren, and charitable organizations.
Review any existing Wills, Living Wills, Powers of Attorney, and other estate planning documents. Evaluate whether your current plan still aligns with your goals, circumstances, and wishes. For example, has your family or financial situation changed?
List all your assets, including real estate, bank accounts, investments, retirement accounts, life insurance policies, valuable possessions, and digital assets.
Make note of any outstanding debts or liabilities.
Designate beneficiaries for your assets, such as family members, friends, or charitable organizations.
Select an executor to handle your estate and ensure your wishes are carried out.
Evaluate whether a trust is necessary to provide for minor children or beneficiaries with special needs.
Select a trustee to manage the trust.
If you have minor children, appoint guardians to care for them in case both parents pass away.
Check and update beneficiary designations on retirement accounts, life insurance policies, and other assets to ensure they align with your current wishes. Also, remember that if you do not name a beneficiary, those types of accounts become estate assets and may be subject to inheritance taxes.
Select an agent for a Power of Attorney to designate someone to handle your financial affairs.
Determine whether you want the Power of Attorney to go into effect immediately or only if you become incapacitated.
Create a Living Will outlining your preferences for medical treatments in case you’re unable to communicate your wishes.
Prepare a Healthcare Power of Attorney to allow someone to make medical decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so.
Keep your estate planning documents in a safe and accessible location. Our office will provide you with a handy folio to store your estate planning documents and other important papers.
Inform your loved ones about the location of these documents and how to access them when needed.
Set a schedule to review and update your estate plan periodically, especially after major life events such as a marriage, divorce, birth, or death.
Consult our law office to ensure your documents are legally valid and accurately reflect your wishes. Don’t rely on Internet forms to give you the guidance you need for these important documents (there is a reason they state that they are not providing legal advice). When a professional prepares your estate plan, it will be tailored to your specific circumstances.
Call our office at (610) 446-3457, send an email, or fill out the form below, and we will respond promptly. We look forward to working with you and ensuring that your estate is structured exactly how you want.