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The vast majority of Americans lack an estate plan. Do you have one?

While most people find end-of-life planning as some morbid thing, it’s actually more about protection and control for you and for your loved ones. Whether young or old, wealthy or not, everyone needs to have a sound estate plan in place. 

As we approach the beginning of a New Year, now is the best time to plan ahead. Estate planning is a way of bringing the future into the present. It would make sense to make this a part of your New Year’s resolution. The good news is that this is not as hard as you might think. Here are some tips on what to expect and how to get started easily.


Your 12-Part Estate Planning Checklist

Here are a few things to consider:

  1. Why are you doing this? Are you doing this to protect your assets or to provide for your family? Are you looking for protection in case of incapacitation? What exactly do you want?
  2. What assets will be included in your estate plan? Properties you own jointly or independently, money in the bank, everything you own, you have to make a list of all of these to include them in your plan.
  3. What are the possible risks to your asset? You’ll need to identify these and factor them into your plans for maximum protection.
  4. Who and what would be covered under your estate plan? A spouse, your children, pets, relatives, friends, etc.? You’ll need to identify everyone you’d like to protect and provide for. 
  5. Do you have plans for charity? Some people plan to give to charities, and some create a trust or foundation. Is this something you would consider too? This should be clearly spelled out.
  6. Do your beneficiaries or heirs have special needs? Would you want to put some plans in place to make sure the inheritance is appropriately transferred and well-utilized?
  7. Will you need to make a provision for estate taxes? Large estates can be subject to large consequences. Will your estate be liable for this? 


I don’t want to overwhelm you. Let’s stop there for now. 

I’ll discuss steps 8 through to 12 in my next blog. I’m hoping you’ll put this into your plan for 2020. There’s nothing wrong with planning for the worst while you’re expecting the best. See you in the New Year, and wishing you the very best.

Chris Arrigali, Esq.


This information, based on New York law, was provided courtesy of The Law Office of Christopher J. Arrigali, P.C.  It is intended to inform, not to advise. No one should try to interpret or apply any law without the assistance of legal counsel. Please click here for the full disclaimer.


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