Make your wishes clear, and maximize your legacy.
Maybe you’ve just purchased a house, or you’re looking ahead to retirement or the birth of a child. Whatever your stage in life, it’s important to have a long-term plan for your assets.
Through estate planning, you make your wishes clear regarding who gets what, and under what terms, after your death. You can also make financial provisions for yourself and in case of mental incapacity to manage your financial affairs.
Start planning with our checklist
Designate your beneficiaries
Your beneficiaries are the ones who will inherit your assets. These assets can include money, property, art, collectables, and more. You can also leave your assets to a charity, such as a university or a nonprofit organization.
Research estate planning information
Trusts are legal arrangements that can help you transfer your assets to your beneficiaries faster and with less taxes. They also give you more control, flexibility, and privacy over your estate. An estate planning attorney can advise you on the best type of trust for your situation and help you set it up.
Take an inventory of your assets
One of the important steps in financial planning is to estimate the income needs and expenses of your family should you die or become incapacitated. This will help you determine how much life insurance or disability insurance you may need to protect your loved ones.
Review your estate plan periodically
Life changes, such as marriage, can affect your future plans. It is important to update your documents and accounts accordingly. You should also communicate with your loved ones about your decisions and wishes.
Federal taxes on estates and gifts are among the highest in US history —and sometimes states impose their own inheritance tax.
A proper estate planning should include how to take advantage of current estate and gift taxes laws to leave the most of you hard earned assets to your heirs.
Estate Planning Resources
Organize all important information that will be helpful in case of emergency, or you become incapacitated to manage your financial affairs is a key element of your estate plan.