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How to Start an Estate Plan

Has estate planning seemed daunting, maybe as if it’s such a big task you don’t know how to begin? This may help....


1) Decide to whom or what charity you wish your estate to pass at your death, and in what proportions

2) Decide whether you want the benefit to pass outright to each beneficiary or should it be held in trust. If in trust, how long?

3) List all your real estate and financial assets including interests in partnerships and small corporations, promissory notes due you, IRAs, life insurance, annuities and how each is presently owned.

4) Decide who should handle your affairs after you die. Consider naming several in case someone cannot serve.

5) List digital assets and passwords. List tangible personal property of unique or substantial value. List copyrights or patents with details. List benefits from former employer or union membership.

Do not implement an estate plan with documents from Legal Zoom or the like. If you use them incorrectly or inappropriately, curing the mistakes could be expensive.

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