The phrase “estate plan” may sound grand, but it’s a very practical set of documents that everyone should have.
Put simply, an estate plan sets out your wishes as to how you would like your estate to be handled after you die or if you became incapacitated. And by “estate,” we mean your assets—such as your home, your investments and anything else of value—plus any other important responsibilities you have, such as children or a guardianship.
Whatever your stage of life, and whatever the value of your estate, this checklist provides a path to follow for creating and maintaining your estate plan. You might not need every estate planning document right away. However, it’s important to work with an attorney to draft these documents and update your plan throughout your life. If an estate planning attorney isn’t an option for you right now, there are estate planning software programs that can help you create and maintain these documents.
Use these guiding questions while you’re assessing your estate plan:
Evaluate your current circumstances and existing assets, gathering any documentation before you meet with your attorney. This includes:
It’s important to meet with your estate attorney to get a full picture of what your estate plan will look like. They can help you with important estate plan documents you need to include, like a will, trust and healthcare directive, and answer any questions you may have.
An estate attorney can help you:
Estate planning documents should accurately reflect your current circumstances—and life can change in the blink of an eye.
Welcoming a child
Filing for divorce or separating from a spouse
Death of a parent or loved one
Experiencing health changes
Once you complete the above estate planning checklist and have an estate plan in place, review it regularly to ensure it continues to represent your wishes for after you’re gone. That way, it will provide you and your loved ones with peace of mind for years to come.
Learn about trust and estate services at U.S. Bank.