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Learn... Plan... Protect Your Estate

Steps to Build Plan
  Step 1 - Organize documents
  Step 2 - Get educated
  Step 3 - Inventory
  Step 4 - Determine goals
  Step 5 - Develop plan
  Step 6 - Review plan
  Step 7 - Take action
  Step 8 - Get help
Estate Plan Items
  Death Will
  Guardianship
  Power of Attorney
  Health Care Directive
  Living Will
  Charitable Giving
  Gifting
  Trusts
  Asset Distribution
  Burial Instructions
  Beneficiaries
  Executor
Determine your values and goals

This step involves a lot of mental exercise because you need to think about your estate, large or small, and what your goals are for distributing it when you die. Will it all go to your spouse, do you have children or others with special needs that need to be considered, do you have a charity that you wish to support, are there people you would like to give financial gifts to now rather than wait until you pass away?

You learned something about all the different documents and options in an earlier step, and the previous step had you figure out what your estate would consist of if you died today. You can now begin to map out financially how you would like to disperse these assets. This becomes basically a planning exercise where you try and figure out who you want to have what. If you are married or have a signficant other, it might help you to engage them in this discussion, although in the end it is your decision, at least with respect to what you own, either by yourself or jointly.

Step Five - Create your initial estate plan

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