The Estate Planning Checklist

A guide to estate planning for each stage of your life

Protecting the most important aspects of your life should not be left up to chance. Regardless of where you are in your life or your current situation, there are ways to protect your property, family and future. To help you think about estate planning, here is what you need to know at every milestone.

Estate Planning for Every Milestone

If you have a spouse, you want to…

Protect your spouse and ensure all your documents are up to date. Name your spouse as a beneficiary in your will and trust so they will receive only the assets and property you wish to leave to them. Also designate a power of attorney and establish a living will or name an advanced medical directive to handle any matters if you become incapacitated.

 

If you have a child, you want to…

Assign guardianship so that your minor children will be cared for by someone designated by you and your spouse, rather than the courts. In addition, distinguish an executor of your estate so your assets will be dispersed in the proper amount once the children become legal age.

 

If you have property, you want to…

Transfer ownership to a trust, given it’s a large asset and could hold a high tax burden. With a trust you can avoid probate time and costs as well as some estate taxes. Upon your death, property will be distributed to the named beneficiaries of the trust. Set up a revocable or irrevocable trust based on your personal needs.

 

If you have a medical condition, you may want to…

Put together a living will. A living will protects you from receiving end-of-life treatment you might otherwise defer, as well as take the burden off family members and doctors to make these decisions for you.

 

If you own a business, you may want to…

Set up a living trust and operate as the trustee and beneficiary in order to continue running the business as long as needed. Another option is to set up a buy-sell agreement which will go into effect after a specific event is triggered. These options will ensure the business is transferred properly upon your death.
Regardless of where you are in your life, there are measures you can take to protect your family, loved ones and assets. For more information on the estate planning process, given your specific life stage and situation, contact Anselmo Lindberg & Associates. We specialize in estate planning, real estate, and business services, and are ready to create an estate planning checklist designed especially for your life story.

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