Estate planning might be worth exploring even when someone is young or has few assets. Of course, those with significant net worth and broad business interests could find detailed estate planning helps their heirs. No matter the size and scope of an estate, a planner might benefit from compiling a checklist worth reviewing.
Estate plan checklist basics
Compiling an inventory of estate assets and liabilities helps when drafting a will. Designating assets to beneficiaries is only part of the process, and settling debts is another. Drawing a detailed list of assets and obligations may help beneficiaries go through probate.
Consider documents other than a will, such as power of attorney forms. A power of attorney document allows an estate planner to direct a chosen agent’s authority over business, financial, and personal business. The agent stands in place for the grantor, taking responsibilities off the grantor’s shoulders. Of course, any person afforded POA authority needs to be trustworthy, considering the legal abilities he or she maintains.
Writing a living will or health care proxy could address matters if a planner becomes ill and incapacitated. These documents affect health-related decisions.
Further points to consider
Choosing the right executor could avoid numerous problems. So might consider tax issues and make appropriate arrangements for beneficiaries to deal with tax authorities. Hiring the right professionals to assist with these estate planning issues may be advisable.
Don’t forget situations change. Estate plans require updating after a periodic review or when a significant life event occurs. Anyone going through a divorce would likely benefit from revising estate plans to address newly single life or a pending remarriage. Leaving an ex-spouse in a will or as a listed beneficiary might cause enormous troubles. Making changes to relevant documents could reflect the planner’s current wishes.