Estate Planning Checklist

January 5, 2024 / 10:10 am


  1. create a list of all possible assets
  2. create a list of all non-physical assets
  3. create a list of all digital assets (financial accounts, social media accounts, emails) with passwords
  4. Create a list of all debts with approximate balances;

Last Will and Testament

  1. Appoint a guardian for children
  2. Appoint a guardian for pets
  3. Decide who gets what
  4. Appoint an Executor to carry out your wishes;

Financial Power of Attorney

  1. Appoint an agent to manage your finances on your behalf
  2. Specify any special instructions for your agent such as donating a certain amount to a certain charity

Healthcare Documents

  1. Declare your healthcare preferences in a Living Will
  2. Appoint an agent to make medical decisions on your behalf in a Living Will

Living Trusts

  1. Inventory all assets and decide who gets what
  2. Place all assets in the name of the Trust
  3. Appoint a successor Trustee to manage the Trust once you pass;

Designation of Beneficiaries

Appoint a beneficiary for all non-probatable assets which includes:

  1. Retirement accounts
  2. Life insurance policies
  3. Pensions

Insurance and Financial Info

  1. Gather copies of all insurance policy documents (life health, car home)
  2. Create a list of financial accounts and institutions (bank accounts, credit cards, mortgages, loans)

Proof of Identification

Gather your proof of identification cards:

  1. Social Security Card
  2. Birth, Marriage, and/or divorce certificates
  3. Prenuptial Agreement

Titles and Deeds

  1. Gather all titles and deeds for your assets (homes, vehicles, real estate)
  2. If you have a Trust, re-title all assets into the ownership of the Trust

End-of-Life Instructions

Lay out your instructions for funeral preferences

  1. Method of disposition (burial, cremation, etc.)
  2. Type of service
  3. What you want said or done

Keeping Secure and Up To Date

  1. Find a safe place to keep your estate planning documents
  2. Inform your Executors and Powers of Attorney how to access your documents
  3. Set a time to review and update your documents each year