Estate Planning Checklist
1) Make a list of all of your tangible possessions.
Making a detailed list of your physical assets is the first step in estate planning. Houses, automobiles, belongings, and other items may be included in this list. This list should have covered anything you’d leave behind at this time.
2) Make a list of your non-physical assets to go along with it.
Make a list of all of your non-physical assets next. Shares, cryptocurrencies, superannuation, life insurance, bank accounts, and other assets may be included in this list. It’s important to make a list of these objects because they aren’t always automatically covered by your Will.
3) Assemble a list of your debts
After that, make a list of your debts. When you die and leave debt behind, your executor will utilise assets to pay it off. If there isn’t enough money to pay off the loan, the government steps in. You should, however, keep your will up to date and erase any obligations that you pay off.
4) Make a list of any organisations or members you could have.
While this does not apply to everyone, you should disclose any affiliations or memberships you may have. These organisations may have accidental life insurance that your beneficiaries are qualified to collect in some instances.
5) Make duplicates of your to-do lists.
It’s time to make copies of your physical and non-physical assets now that you have a complete list. If you pass away before amending your will, it would be helpful if you advised your executor where you kept a duplicate of these lists.
6) Decide on your recipients.
It’s time to choose the beneficiaries of your estate after you’ve identified your assets. If your estate has no known heirs, the court would usually start with your immediate family and work its way down the line of family and loved ones.
7) Create a Will
It’s time to draught your will now that you have a complete understanding of your assets and beneficiaries. It would benefit you no matter where you are in life if you took the time to make a will. It not only protects you, but it also protects your loved ones.
Note: Your will should specify how you want your assets dispersed, as well as any dependants, child guardians, and what will happen to your pets if you are unable to care for them.
8) Consult a professional about taxes and setting up a trust.
It’s crucial to evaluate the impact of your estate on taxes, any tax benefits you might be interested in, and whether or not you should also open a trust when arranging your estate, depending on its size. It’s sometimes a good thing to have both trust and determination.
9) If you own a business, make a succession plan.
If you own or are a partner in a business, you should think about who will take over if you become incapacitated or pass away. Having a will does not guarantee that your business will be passed on to your relatives.
10) Select an Executor
Appointing an executor, several executors, or professional executor services to handle your estate is a part of estate preparation. This position carries a great deal of responsibility, therefore it should be carefully considered and discussed with the individual you pick to fill it.
11) Make a binding death benefit nomination for your superannuation account.
Because super funds are kept in trust and managed by the trust fundholder, they are technically not yours. As a result, it’s critical to set up a legally binding death benefit nomination for your retirement account. This person will then collect your superannuation when you pass away.
12) Designate a life insurance beneficiary
Your will, like superannuation, does not cover life insurance by default and is not yours to pass on. As a result, most experts would advise you to name a beneficiary for your life insurance death benefit.
13) Make a general or perpetual power of attorney.
Power of Attorney is an important part of estate planning. For a specific event or time period, your general power of attorney is useful. However, enduring power of attorney can be especially useful if you lose the ability to make key financial decisions.
14) Think about drafting an Advance Health Care Directive.
Your advance health directive, like a power of attorney, will spell out your wishes if you lose the ability to make key decisions about your health and quality of life. It permits you to express your wishes in the event that you lose your ability to do so.
15) Determine where you'll keep your Will.
After you’ve taken care of your estate assets, it’s time to figure out where you’ll keep your will. This will vary depending on how you wrote your will, where you live, and whether or not you hired a lawyer or solicitor to help you.
16) Give your executor a copy of your Will.
Your executor should be aware that they have been named as an executor in your Will. Once they’ve done so, make sure to give them a copy of your most recent Will. We also propose that you share your asset lists with them.
17) Talk to your family and beneficiaries about your preferences and provide them advice.
It’s time to notify your family and beneficiaries after you’ve completed your Will and estate planning. It’s up to you whether or not you tell them everything about your Will, but it’s always a good idea to let them know.
18) Create a strategy for dealing with your digital legacy.
It’s critical to account for your digital legacy while writing your will. Your social media profiles are referred to in this legacy. Your executor may be able to modify your account to in memory of and keep it open on some platforms.
19) Make funeral arrangements and inform your family of your preferences.
It’s critical to include your funeral wishes in your estate planning. In such an emotional moment, planning a funeral for a loved one is a big weight. You may aid your loved ones and save them money by planning ahead.
20) Make sure your will is up to date.
The last legal will is the one that is binding in court after you die, which is why it’s important to keep your will up to date. If there are any significant changes to your assets or executors, you should do this first.