So You Already Have a Will or Estate Plan. Checklist of Next Steps

Every week, it seems, clients come into our office with already executed Wills or Trusts that were completed years ago or that are recent but they want to update. Everything looks good on paper; we review how they want assets to be distributed and what the plan is. They are in a good position if something unexpected happens, right? 

Maybe not. If no one took the extra step to review your assets in detail and discuss whether changes should be made to beneficiary designations or retitling assets, then the plan on paper may not actually happen. Here is a checklist for you to review and consider if you have already executed your estate plan:

  1. Have you created an inventory of all your current assets and reviewed all beneficiary designations? 
  2. If any accounts or assets do not have designations, have you considered adding them to correspond to your estate plan?
  3. If your plan involves taking steps to avoid probate, remember that you must account for any real estate you own as well, whether in-state or out-of-state. Minnesota real estate must either be jointly owned, in a trust, business entity, and/or have a transfer on death deed recorded in order to pass outside of a probate proceeding. 
  4. If your plan involves a revocable trust (or multiple trusts), have the applicable assets been transferred into the name of the trust? 
  5. Do you have specific gifts to be distributed from already-identified assets?

This can be a time consuming process and is not very glamorous. However, it is a critical step to ensuring that your assets are protected and distributed in the way you intended under your estate plan. Contact us today for a complimentary review of your current plan! 

Please remember, this post provides educational information only and in no way constitutes legal advice.