Estate Planning Deficiencies Checklist

DeficienciesIdentify Your Estate Plan’s Deficiencies

The purpose of the Estate Planning Deficiencies Checklist is to allow you to review your own estate plan on your own time and pace. I believe that as you look at your estate planning while using this Checklist, you will know how well you and your loved ones are protected in the event that something happens to you.  As an estate planning attorney, my desire is to help you take care of your family.  Filling out this Checklist can help you and I have a focused conversation about your needs and then develop a suitable and comprehensive plan to fulfill your vision and address your needs.

I invite you to fill out this Estate Planning Deficiencies Checklist. You can either download a PDF version, or you can fill out the electronic version on this webpage.  I look forward to hearing from you about your estate plan.

Schedule a Review Meeting

If you answer “No” or “I Don’t Know” to any of the questions in this Checklist, I invite you to schedule a complimentary initial meeting with me to discuss any possible liabilities you may have and recommended solutions for your situation.

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Do you have a Will or a Trust in place? Without proactive planning, state laws will determine how your assets pass, to whom they pass, and when they pass. This can lead to undesired results, and is perhaps the most costly way to pass assets to loved ones.

Has your Will or Trust been reviewed in the last two years? Even assuming that there have been no family or financial changes since your plan was last reviewed, there have been several major tax law changes. An out-of-date estate plan can be worse than no planning at all.

Does your current Health Care Power of Attorney permit the person of your choosing (spouse, child, family) to make emergency health care decisions for you in the event you are unable to do so?

Does your estate plan contain a customized plan to determine if you are mentally disabled?

Does your current estate plan give instructions for your care and the care of your loved ones in the event of disability?

Are you certain that your current estate plan will minimize possible federal estate taxes at your death, including taxes on your house, life insurance and IRA’s?

If you have a Revocable Living Trust in place as part of your estate plan, is your trust fully funded so that your family can
avoid the delays and expenses of probate?

Have you taken steps to avoid possible will contests and disputes during the administration of your estate?

Does your estate plan protect your children’s inheritance in the event your surviving spouse chooses to remarry?

Have you recently checked the beneficiary designations of your retirement plans and life insurance policies, and are you confident that you have not listed your estate or any minor children as either primary or secondary beneficiaries?

Does your current estate plan provide creditor and lawsuit protection for assets passed to your surviving spouse?

Does your current estate plan provide creditor and lawsuit protection for assets passed to your children’s inheritance?

Are you confident that your current estate plan is income tax efficient?

Does your current plan protect your children’s inheritance from a divorcing spouse?

Are you satisfied with the persons you named as guardians of your minor children in your current plan?

Are you satisfied with the persons selected as executor and trustee in your current estate plan?

Are you confident that your executor, power of attorney, and successor trustee are prepared to act on your behalf
when asked to?