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Estate-Planning Checklist: Must-Haves

Drawing upon Adviser Investments’ decades of experience, our comprehensive estate and legacy planning checklist includes a glossary of key terms and identifies five critical estate planning must-haves.


Once completed, your final wishes will be honored and your family will be unburdened, with appropriate time to grieve instead of picking up the pieces you left behind.

Estate Planning Checklist Includes:

#1—Legal Documents: Required forms to guarantee your assets are distributed as you intended, (i.e., likely requires more than a will).

#2—Health Care Directives: In the event of your incapacitation, you need six health care advance directives (documents). That’s right—six, with two key items that are often overlooked, possibly decreasing the impact of medical treatments.

#3—Income Distribution and Spending Plans: Heirs often don’t know where your assets are held. Therefore, identifying four key income sources is critical for transferring assets to beneficiaries.

#4—Government and Court-Issued Documents: There are seven confidential items heirs may need to facilitate your estate plan wishes. Can they find them?

#5—Proof of Ownership: Informing your family about these 11 assets and obligations is important. Otherwise, they may be unprepared to manage your debt and unable to locate your assets.

You can’t always control the future. However, you can control your medical care and legacy wishes.

Preparing your estate

This checklist details many of the necessary materials to gather to save your loved ones hours of effort, keep you in control of your medical decisions and safeguard your valuable assets.
Estate Checklist
Retirement Plan Strategies Checklist

Here are some other important considerations:

Have you established designated beneficiaries for all of your retirement accounts? If so, have you reviewed your choices recently to confirm they are aligned with your present intentions?
After death, do you want to be buried or cremated and have you indicated this anywhere in writing?Is there any intention to donate estate assets to a particular non-profit organization or charity?
Is the person you’ve named as executor of your estate aware of their role?


This material is distributed for informational purposes only. The investment ideas and expressions of opinion may contain certain forward-looking statements and should not be viewed as recommendations or personal investment advice, or considered an offer to buy or sell specific securities. Data and statistics contained in this report are obtained from what we believe to be reliable sources; however, their accuracy, completeness or reliability cannot be guaranteed.

Our statements and opinions are subject to change without notice and should be considered only as part of a diversified portfolio. You may request a free copy of the firm’s Form ADV Part 2, which describes, among other items, risk factors, strategies, affiliations, services offered and fees charged.

Past performance is not an indication of future returns. Tax, legal and insurance information contained herein is general in nature, is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal or tax advice, or as advice on whether to buy or surrender any insurance products. Personalized tax advice and tax return preparation is available through a separate, written engagement agreement with Adviser Investments Tax Solutions. We do not provide legal advice, nor sell insurance products. Always consult a licensed attorney, tax professional or licensed insurance professional regarding your specific legal or tax situation, or insurance needs.
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