Estate Read Time: 4 min

Estate Management Checklist

Do you have a will?

A will enables you to specify who you want to inherit your property and other assets. A will also enables you to name a guardian for your minor children.

Do you have healthcare documents in place?

Healthcare documents spell out your wishes for health care if you become unable to make medical decisions for yourself. They also authorize a person to make decisions on your behalf if that should prove necessary. These documents may include a living will, a power of attorney agreement, and a durable power of attorney agreement for healthcare.

Do you have financial documents in place?

Certain financial documents can outline your financial wishes. If you become unable to make decisions for yourself, these financial documents can be structured to empower a person to make decisions on your behalf. These documents may include joint ownership, durable power of attorney, and living trusts.

Checkboxes

Have you filed beneficiary forms?

In some cases, naming a beneficiary for bank accounts and retirement plans makes these accounts "payable on death" to your beneficiaries. In other cases, you will need to fill out a "Payable on Death" form.

Do you have the right amount and type of life insurance?

When was the last time you assessed your life insurance coverage? Have you compared the life insurance benefit with your financial obligations? Keep in mind that several factors will affect the cost and availability of life insurance, including age, health, and the type and amount of insurance purchased. Life insurance policies have expenses, including mortality and other charges. If a policy is surrendered prematurely, the policyholder also may pay surrender charges and have income tax implications. You should consider determining whether you are insurable before implementing a strategy involving life insurance. Any guarantees associated with a policy are dependent on the ability of the issuing insurance company to continue making claim payments.

Have you taken steps to manage your federal estate tax?

If you and your spouse have more than $24.12 million in assets (for 2022), you may want to consider taking steps to manage federal estate taxes, which will be due at the second spouse's death.1

Have you taken steps to protect your business?

Do you have a succession plan? If you own a business with others, you may also want to consider a buyout agreement.

Have you created a letter of instruction?

A letter of instruction is a non-legal document that outlines your wishes. A strong, well-written letter may save your heirs time, effort, and expense as they administer your estate.

Will your heirs be able to locate your critical documents?

Your heirs may need access to the specific documents you have created to manage your estate. These documents may include:

  • Your will
  • Trust documents
  • Life insurance policies
  • Deeds to any real estate, and certificates for stocks, bonds, annuities
  • Information on your financial accounts and safe deposit boxes
  • Information on your retirement plans
  • Information on any debts you have: credit cards, mortgages and loans.

Note: Power of attorney laws can vary from state to state. An estate strategy that includes trusts may involve a complex web of tax rules and regulations. Consider working with a knowledgeable estate management professional before implementing such strategies.

1. IRS.gov, 2022

The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG Suite is not affiliated with the named broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Copyright FMG Suite.

Share |
 

Related Content

Not Your Parents’ Finances

Not Your Parents’ Finances

From paychecks to housing costs, millennials today are confronting very different financial challenges, opportunities and...

Saving for College 101

Saving for College 101

Here’s a crash course on saving for college.

How to Jump-Start Your Financial Strategy for Retirement

How to Jump-Start Your Financial Strategy for Retirement

Get on track to creating the retirement you want. Here are seven financial strategies to take now to help you.

 

Have A Question About This Topic?







Thank you! Oops!

Buying Auto Insurance For Teen Drivers

Tips on insuring your teen driver.

Infographic: Risks at Retirement

Make a plan to take these risks off the table.

Tax-Advantaged Retirement Planning

Reduce your tax liability in retirement.

View all articles

What Is My Risk Tolerance?

This questionnaire will help determine your tolerance for investment risk.

Historical Inflation

This calculator shows how inflation over the years has impacted purchasing power.

Tax Freedom Day

Assess how many days you'll work to pay your federal tax liability.

View all calculators

5 Smart Investing Strategies

There are some smart strategies that may help you pursue your investment objectives

Principles of Preserving Wealth

How federal estate taxes work, plus estate management documents and tactics.

Managing Your Lifestyle

Using smart management to get more of what you want and free up assets to invest.

View all presentations

The Fed and How It Got That Way

Here is a quick history of the Federal Reserve and an overview of what it does.

The Cycle of Investing

Understanding the cycle of investing may help you avoid easy pitfalls.

Investments

You’ve made investments your whole life. Work with us to help make the most of them.

View all videos