Your estate is comprised of everything you own. While the size of everyone’s estate varies, there is one thing we all have in common: we can’t take it with us when we die. Making a plan for what will happen to your belongings and for the care of the people you leave behind may be an emotionally difficult task. But it is one way to say “I love you” to your family and provide peace to them during a difficult time in their lives.
Estate Plan Checklist
Durable Power of Attorney: Permits others to handle most or all of your financial affairs in the event of incapacity or unavailability.
Living Will: Allows you to specify your wishes concerning life-sustaining medical treatment.
Other actions to consider:
- Do an annual review. Have your insurance policies changed? Did your beneficiaries change addresses or last names? Did you add or sell any of your estate assets? While it is not likely that you’ll need a whole new plan or even change your will, some of the additional documents listed above may need to be updated.
- Discuss your plan with your spouse and at least one other family member. This may be the most difficult step in making your estate plan. Telling others will make your intentions clear, provide your family with a sense of preparedness, and be an opportunity to pass on your values.
- Organize your estate plan. Having all these important documents organized in one accessible, understandable system will make the management of your affairs less burdensome on others.
- Other documents that you may keep organized in addition to your estate plan documents include: property deeds and titles, marriage and birth certificates, passports, and a master list of where all these documents can be located.
*Information sourced from EY Financial Planning Center. Participants in the Wespath pension plans can create an account and log in for more estate planning information.