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Estate planning - Easy checklist

Estate planning is not just for high net worth families; it is required by every individual. With a proper and current estate plan, you can dramatically reduce the added strain to your executor caused by the legal and financial issues surrounding the settling of an estate.

A few simple questions can help you to determine if you are on the right track:

Setting your goals and objectives
  • Have you specified how your assets are to be distributed?

  • Will there be a source of income for your family when you die?

  • Will there be a source of income if you are disabled?

  • Do you know your income at retirement?

  • Do you know the tax exposure on your estate?

  • Do you know how taxes will be paid?

Taking an inventory of your estate
  • Are all of your important papers together?

  • Does your executor know where they are located?

  • Do you have a will?

  • Do you need/have a trust agreement?

  • Do you have a buy-sell agreement for your business?

  • Do you have a current net worth statement?

Your executor
  • Have you chosen your executor and informed them of your choice?

  • Have you explained your expectations?

Your family
  • Have you made funeral plans?

  • Have you discussed them with your family?

  • Have you had a family meeting to talk about your estate plan?

  • Has your family met your professional advisors?

  • Does your family know you you’ve appointed as your executor?

  • Is your life insurance beneficiary information up-to-date?

After a recent family death, the importance of being organized was made apparent. Easing your family’s burden in the event of your pre-mature passing can be a gift to your loved ones.


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