8 Essential Estate Planning Checks
If it's been a while since you reviewed your plans—or if you haven't created a will yet—look at these common areas to get you started.
- An up-to-date will and other important documents. Does your will reflect your current circumstances? Are your trust documents, insurance policies and other important records organized?
- Location of your documents. Make sure someone, like an attorney or friend, knows where your important documents are and how to access them.
- Property including jewelry, art and other collectibles. Create an up-to-date inventory list on the computer or make a videotape inventory.
- Charitable giving through your estate. Including The Ramapo College Foundation in your plans may reduce estate tax consequences while helping provide funds needed to continue vital educational programs and opportunities.
- Key advisors, such as attorneys, financial consultants, accountants and insurance specialists. Professional counsel can help determine the best ways to protect your assets.
- Final wishes or funeral arrangements. Communicate your wishes to your family. By making those decisions now, you save loved ones from having to guess at your wishes at a time when they may be overwhelmed with grief.
- A health care power of attorney and a durable power of attorney. Have you named a trusted person to make health and financial decisions for you if you are no longer able to make those decisions yourself?
- Your unique circumstances. Make sure your plans fit your particular situation. For example, you'll want to name a guardian for dependents under your care.
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The information on this website is not intended as legal or tax advice. For legal or tax advice, please consult an attorney. Figures cited in examples are for hypothetical purposes only and are subject to change. References to estate and income taxes apply to federal taxes only. State income/estate taxes or state law may impact your results.