Deciding What to Include in Your Estate Plan

Personal Finance August 18, 2008 Print Friendly and PDF
Young couple seated at table looking over documents

Once you have selected an attorney, decide what you want your estate plan to achieve before scheduling a second, longer meeting. Determine:

  • Do you want to make sure that your spouse/partner is financially secure?
  • What do you want to happen to the property you have accumulated?
  • Who will care for your minor children or aging parents?
  • Do you want your spouse and children to be provided for in an equitable manner?
  • Who will settle your estate in a timely and fair way?
  • If you own a business, do you want one or more family members to inherit and manage it?
  • Do you want to keep estate taxes, probate fees, and other administrative and legal costs to a minimum?

Organize and prepare important lists and inventories. You will need many of these papers to complete your estate plan. See the lesson Organize Your Important Papers for forms that you will find useful.

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.