The decision to create an estate plan is one that will benefit you and your loved ones during your life and after your passing. However, it can feel overwhelming trying to figure out where to begin in the estate planning process. The experienced Ohio estate planning lawyers at Kryszak & Associates are here with an estate planning checklist and have counseled many in the creation and amending of their estate plans. To learn more, call or contact our office today.
The first step in estate planning is to inventory the assets in your estate. It is difficult to allocate assets in an estate if you do not know what and how much is there. An inventory should include both tangible and intangible assets in an estate, including but not limited to the following:
The next step is to establish directives within the estate plan, which can be determined in documents like a will, power of attorney, and health care power of attorney forms. A will can include the creation of a trust, which distributes the property within the trust to beneficiaries. A power of attorney gives an agent the power to make financial and legal decisions on your behalf, while a health care power of attorney gives an agent the ability to make medical decisions on your behalf. You can also include a living will, which dictates your wishes for medical and palliative care in situations of serious illness or injury.
The next step in an estate planning checklist is to review the beneficiaries on your accounts. Beneficiaries are typically required for trusts, life insurance policies, retirement accounts, and other insurance policies. Check the primary and secondary beneficiaries on all accounts to ensure that the people or entities listed are still who you wish to receive those funds after your passing. It is important to change any beneficiaries that are incorrect, as the name listed takes precedence over contradicting information in a will.
Finally, the last step in an estate planning checklist is to speak with a knowledgeable Ohio estate planning attorney about your desires in an estate plan. A lawyer can ensure that all documents are created correctly, filed properly, and exactly reflect your wishes for your estate in addition to your medical care. You can also come up with a periodic plan to review your estate plan with an attorney, as circumstances change over time, and your estate plan should reflect it.
If you would like to speak with a knowledgeable Ohio estate planning attorney about what you should do to create or amend an estate plan, talk to the law office of Kryszak & Associates today to schedule a consultation.