Floridians who are preparing to create estate plans can follow a simple checklist to simplify the process. Estate planning should be viewed as an ongoing process instead of the creation of static documents. Preparing properly and following some simple tips can help to ensure that your wishes will be followed after you pass away.
Estate planning checklist
A basic checklist of steps to follow when creating an estate plan includes the following:
- Inventory all of your property, assets, and debts.
- Answer important questions about how you want your affairs to be settled.
- Meet with your attorney to draft your estate planning documents.
- Check your beneficiaries on your retirement accounts, investment accounts, and life insurance policies.
- Immediately fund any trust you create.
- Update your estate planning documents whenever you undergo major changes in your life.
When you create an inventory of your estate, gather important documents, including deeds, titles, bank account statements, investment account statements, retirement account statements, and outstanding bill statements. You might need to have your home appraised to understand its value.
You should think about who you will want to care for your minor children if you become incapacitated or pass away. You should also consider how you want your assets to be distributed and who should receive them as well as who to name as your executor or successor trustee. Once you have gathered your documents, inventoried your estate, and answered those questions, you should then be prepared to conduct estate planning.
After your estate plan is created, you should revisit it whenever you undergo a major change in your life and update it accordingly. Some of these changes include having a new child, getting married and/or divorced, getting remarried, and losing one of your loved ones. Updating your estate plan can help you to avoid unintended consequences.