Your Guide to Estate Planning
The Decisions, Documents, and Delegations You Need to Make
Why Should You Start Estate Planning?
Step One: Set Your Estate Planning Goals
- Ensuring that your family is given financial support.
- Naming guardians for any minor children, and laying out a financial plan for their support.
- Dictating how a business will be managed in the future.
- Leaving your assets to a charity.
- Requesting specific funeral arrangements, senior care, or health care preferences.
- Choosing the beneficiaries who will receive your estate.
- Specifying your preferences in the case of a medical emergency or incapacitation.
Step Two: Document Your Assets and Debts
- Businesses and Investments
Step Three: Select Your Executor and Attorney-in-Fact
- Administer your property and assets
- Arrange for debt repayment
- File necessary forms
- Arrange for any charitable donations or gifts to be given to the correct parties
- Handle the arrangements made in your End-of-Life Plan regarding your memorial service, remains, etc.
- Real Estate
- or Law
Step Four: Consider Your Medical and Care Preferences
Questions to Ask Yourself:
- Do I want to donate organs?
- Do I want to be resuscitated?
- Do I want palliative care?
- Do I have any specific medical preferences?
- What do I want my family to do if I become incapacitated?
Step Five: Create Your Documents
Step Six: Gather Important Paperwork
- Marriage, divorce, and separation documents.
- Adoption and birth certificates for children.
- Property deeds and titles.
- Business and investment share certificates.
Step Seven: Store Your Estate Plans and Inform Your Representatives
You can store your estate documents:
- In a safe
- In a safety deposit box
- With your attorney
- With your representatives
- With your bank or accountant