A Checklist For Estate Planning

At some point in everyone's life, they should figure out their estate planning. An estate plan needs to be tailored to each individual and should cover what will happen in the event of death or a disability. You need to plan for your family and friends and how they might be affected by your death. Most people aren't really sure where to start where it comes to estate planning. This guide will take you through a checklist of areas that you should cover when it comes to planning your estate.


One of the first steps to take is to determine which assets you have that can be passed on. These may include real estate, vehicles, or other property that is considered valuable. You need to dictate to whom you want each asset given after your death. If any assets have a title, you can plan ahead and add someone as the co-owner of that asset. This does have a possible downside, since they will legally own that property with you until your death. However, if you are planning on passing it on to them anyway, then you might not mind being co-owners now. Keep in mind that any assets over a certain value may be subjected to the federal gift tax.


Instead of divvying up various assets, you can just pick a beneficiary for your estate. That person will receive all your property upon your death. Most people pick a spouse, child, or close family member to be their beneficiary, but it can be anyone you want to give your property to and trust with your assets. You can pick a secondary beneficiary as well, in case something happens to the first one, deeming them invalid.

Life Insurance

After you die, your next of kin is responsible for your outstanding debt. In order to save them from this, you can purchase a life insurance plan. This insurance money will also cover the costs of your funeral and burial, which can amount to thousands of dollars. You can work with various life insurance companies in order to find which plan works best for your situation.

Living Will

A living will is a legal document that states your wishes in case of severe disability or death. It can list certain preferences for medical treatment in the event that you are terminally ill and unable to communicate. For example, you may state that you don't want to be resuscitated in medical emergencies or put on life support.

It's hard to go through the process of estate planning. No one wants to think about their death or what might happen to their family afterward. However, it's vital to do so while you still can. Contact a law office that specializes in estate planning, such as Lynn Jackson Shultz & Lebrun PC, to start your estate planning process sooner than later.