Estate Planning Checklist: Documents To Have

No one likes to think about their own mortality, but it’s important to be prepared for the eventuality. Part of being prepared is having your affairs in order, which includes taking the proper steps and having the right documents on hand. This estate planning checklist will help you make sure you have everything you need so that your loved ones can take care of your affairs without any legal complications.


A will is a legal document that sets out how you want your property and possessions to be distributed after your death. It’s an important tool for anyone who wants to ensure that their loved ones are taken care of after they die. If you don’t have a will, your property will be distributed according to state law, which may not be in line with your wishes.

Make sure you include the following information in your will:

  • Name a guardian for any minor children
  • Choose a guardian for your pets
  • Make a list of all personal property (houses, cars, bank accounts, etc.) and specify who you want to receive each
  • Decide who will be the executor of your will to ensure that your wishes are carried out

Advanced Healthcare Directive

An Advanced Healthcare Directive is a legal document that allows you to appoint someone to make medical decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so yourself. You can use it to specify the kind of medical treatment you would or would not want to receive, and it can be used in both emergency and non-emergency situations.

Creating an Advanced Healthcare Directive is a simple process, but it’s one that can give you peace of mind knowing that your wishes will be respected if something happens to you.

Think carefully about who you’d like to name as your healthcare agent and talk it over with them before doing so.

Financial Power of Attorney

A financial power of attorney is a legal document that allows you to appoint someone else to manage your finances if you become unable to do so yourself. This person can have a wide range of powers, from paying your bills to selling your property.

A financial power of attorney can be an important tool in ensuring that your finances are taken care of if you become incapacitated. It can also help to avoid potential conflicts among family members or other loved ones who may disagree about how your finances should be managed.

Appointing a financial power of attorney does not mean that you are giving up control of your finances; rather, it simply provides peace of mind knowing that there is someone you trust who can take care of things if you are unable to do so yourself.

Beneficiary Designations

Make sure you designate beneficiaries for your 401k or IRA account, as well as life insurance policies and pensions. This is the person who will receive the money in the account if you die. It’s important to keep your beneficiary designations up to date because otherwise the money might not go to the person you want it to.

Revocable Living Trust

A revocable living trust is a legal document that can help you manage your property and assets while you are alive and distribute them according to your wishes after you pass away.

When creating a revocable living trust, you need to list all personal property and decide what you want done with it/who you want to receive it. You then transfer the property into the trust, and name a trustee that will be responsible for managing the trust once you pass away.

There are other important documents and steps you need to take when creating a solid estate plan, but this should be a good start. If you have any questions, contact us today to schedule a Free Initial Meeting.