The first step in developing an effective estate plan is to look at your current situation, know where you are today and determine what you want to do. While you will certainly want to consult with your legal and tax advisors, as well as your financial advisor or investment professional, you can use this checklist now to start getting organized.
1) Choose the type of disposition and funeral ceremony you would like to have.
2) If you wish to prepay your funeral costs, make sure you know exactly what you are purchasing, what will happen if the funeral organization goes out of business and what provisions are made in case you change your mind about any of the arrangements.
3) Tell family members about your plans and arrangements and where you keep documents related to prearranged funeral costs and burial plots you have purchased.
4) If you have a favorite charity, be sure your loved ones know the name of the organization and the location of its headquarters.
5) If you decide to give away some of your property, such as a favorite antique table or a piece of jewelry, be sure to make a separate list of bequests made outside of your will so that family members will not search in vain for the item or argue over who should inherit it.
6) Make sure your heirs know where all your belongings are.
7) Give your family members the name, address and phone number of your attorney. You may even want your family to meet the attorney to discuss your plans.
8) Write out a will so your wishes are clearly defined. You may want to work with your attorney to draft and legalize a will that complies with state and federal laws.
9) Inform your family about where you keep all of your important financial and legal documents. Make sure statements, forms and other documents are organized and clearly labeled. Documents or information that your survivors will need include your
10) Make sure you give your family the names of your accountant, financial advisor or investment professional and insurance agent, along with their phone numbers and addresses.
11) Write out a list of employee benefits available to your family members after your death. Keep statements for retirement plans and insurance policies offered by your employer.
An estate plan can help provide peace of mind for you, ensure that your loved ones are able to carry out your wishes and may help you reduce estate taxes and preserve more of your hard-earned assets. As part of a comprehensive plan, you will want to
1 Source: irs.gov.
MFS Fund Distributors, Inc. is not affiliated with LPL Financial or StrateFi Wealth Management.MFS® does not provide legal, tax, or accounting advice. Any statement contained in this communication (including any attachments) concerning U.S. tax matters was not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however LPL Financial makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy.
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