ANNUAL ESTATE PLANNING CHECKLIST

 

 

STEP 1.

 

  1. Has your estate grown or decreased significantly in value? 
  2. Have your beneficiaries attained designated ages under your plan?
  3. Have any deaths, births, divorces or marriages altered your objectives?
  4. Do any of your designated agents, personal representatives, trustees or guardians or their successors need to be altered?
  5. Do any charitable or specific bequests need to be added or deleted?
  6. Have your overall family, social or charitable objectives changed?
  7. Do you have an up-to-date health power of attorney containing medical directives in regard to medical procedures that you would find objectionable under certain terminal circumstances?
  8. Have you completed a "laundry list" of tangible personal property that is to go to certain beneficiaries or instructions as to how such property is to be disposed of.
  9. Do your beneficiaries have substantial estates to the extent their inheritance from you would cause increased taxes?
  10. Are any of your beneficiaries subject to claims of creditors, possible divorce or potential litigation to the extent that their inheritance should be protected?
  11. Are any of your beneficiaries disabled to the extent they cannot handle their inheritance or would their inheritance disqualify them from government assistance?
  12. Do you have a durable power of attorney for financial decisions in the event you become incapacitated?
  13. Have you changed residency?

 

STEP 2.

 

  1. Have you acquired additional property not title properly?
  2. If married, are your estates fairly equalized?
  3. Are all of your out state real estate interests in a trust?
  4. Do you have your spouse as primary beneficiary and your trust as secondary beneficiary of any IRA, pension plan or other retirement benefit?

 

STEP 3.

 

  1. Have your purchased additional life insurance coverage?
  2. Does the estate have enough liquidity to handle anticipated debts, taxes and expenses?  What is your current estate tax exposure?

 

STEP 4.

 

  1. Do you have a supplemental letter to your beneficiaries in  regard to funeral instructions, personal advice, etc.?
  2. Have you checked with your attorney to see if any recent tax law changes affect your plan or open new planning opportunities?
  3. Do you have a plan for passing on any family business interest?
  4. Do you need to continue or initiate a family gift program?
  5. Are your business agreements (stockholder agreement, redemption agreement, buy-sell agreement) up to date as to stipulated value and payment terms?
  6. Would you benefit from a current charitable deduction for income tax purposes?
  7. Do you have a highly appreciated asset you are planning to sell?

 

   
 
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