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March 18, 2013

Wills and Estates

Estate Planning

What type of information do I need to have together to plan?

Your advisor may have a checklist for you to use. Otherwise, it’s helpful to have as much of the following information as possible:

  • the names, addresses, and birth dates of all people, whether or not related to you, who you plan to name in your will;
  • the name, address, and telephone number of the person(s) you expect to name as the executor of your will;
  • if you have minor children, the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of all possible guardians;
  • the amount and source of your principal income or other income such as interest and dividends;
  • the amount, source, and beneficiaries of your retirement benefits, including IRAs, pensions, Keogh accounts, government benefits, and profit-sharing plans;
  • the amount, source, and beneficiaries of other financial assets such as bank accounts, annuities, and loans due you;
  • the amount of your debts, including mortgages, installment loans, and business debts, if any;
  • a list with approximate values of property you own, including real estate, jewelry, furniture, collections, heirlooms, and other assets;
  • a list and description of jointly-owned property and the names of co-owners;
  • any documents that might affect your estate plan, including prenuptial agreements, marriage certificates, divorce decrees, recent tax returns, existing wills and trust documents, and property deeds;
  • the location of any safe deposit boxes and an inventory of the contents of each one.

>>Isn’t estate planning just for older people or the wealthy?
>>What happens if you don't plan?
>>What can I do to minimize the costs of estate planning?
>>What type of information do I need to have together to plan?
>>My spouse doesn’t like to think about death. What should I do?

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