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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
  Power of Attorney
  Health Care Directive
  Living Will
  Charitable Giving
  Asset Distribution
  Burial Instructions
Review your estate plan

Now that you have created your draft estate plan, you might want to have it reviewed by an estate-planning attorney. If you already have an estate plan, it is important that you have it reviewed every three to five years, and whenever there is a major change in your family's status. You want to make sure that it is still what you want, and to be certain that there won't be any problems due to changes in the law.

If you are meeting with an estate-planning attorney, take along your personal balance sheet and anything else that the attorney wants you to bring. If they send you a questionnaire, fill it out completely. When you do meet, you will discuss your goals and decide on a course of action, along with all the documents that will need to be prepared. Once the attorney drafts them according to your wishes, review them carefully to ensure accuracy and correct spelling of all names. Once you are satisfied, the attorney will prepare final documents for your signature. Make sure you follow the attorney's guidance for executing the documents.

When you prepare or review your documents, it is also an excellent time to make sure that your beneficiaries and executor or trustee know about your affairs and how you want them handled. You don't want them surprised when you pass away. The longer they have had to come to terms with your wishes, or even ask questions if they are uncertain about the specifics, the easier it will be for them to execute them when the time comes.

Step 7 - Take action now

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