An Estate Planning Checklist to Facilitate Wealth Transfer

Educate your heirs about your estate planning wishes. Help them avoid being one of the statistics. Studies show that 70% of family wealth is gone at the end of the second generation and that 90% is gone by the end of the third generation. Being sure they are educated and updated of your wealth goals and plans will help keep your assets available for several generations.

What Must You Communicate to Future Generations to Facilitate Transfer of Your Wealth?

To ensure your family and loved ones will have the information they need during the difficult time after you pass on you need to communicate this information to them:

  • Who is to be in charge if you are incapacitated or were to die?
    • The agent in your Durable Power of Attorney and Health Care Directive
    • The Successor trustee in your Revocable Living Trust and any other trusts you may have
    • A personal representative in your Will
  • Where important documents are kept and how to access digital assets?
  • Who are your key advisors and what is their contact information?
  • What are your final wishes for burial, cremation or memorial services?
  • What is your net worth in the form of a statement or wealth overview?
  • What estate planning documents you have created and for what purpose?
    • Advanced Estate Planning – protecting assets from creditors, predators, ex-spouses; charitable giving; minimize taxes; dynasty trust
    • Durable Power of Attorney, Health Care Directive, Living Will – life-sustaining procedures, guardianship, property management
    • Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust – immediate access to cash, removing life insurance from taxable estate
    • Last Will and Testament – catch-all for assets not in a trust or used to transfer assets if not using a trust
    • Revocable Living Trust – guardianship, avoid probate, minimize cost, delays and bureaucracy, final wishes private
  • What are the benefits of lifetime discretionary trusts?
  • Special needs beneficiaries protected (if properly drafted)
  • Professional asset management
  • Lasting legacy for future generations created
  • Estate taxes at each generation minimized
  • Educational opportunities
  • Asset, divorce, and remarriage protection
  • Overall goals – what the money is to be used for and what it is not to be used for, who is the trustee and why they were chosen

How Can Your Professional Advisors Help You Communicate Your Wealth Transfer Goals?

A professional advisor can help you determine your priorities and goals for your wealth. You can receive help communicating this information to your heirs. This will result in your assets being used more responsibly and not lost in just one generation.

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