Think about each of the questions below. Every no or not sure answer should give you one more reason to begin planning now for the preservation and distribution of your estate.
Do you have an up-to-date will?
Does your will name a guardian for your children?
Are you still comfortable with the executor(s) of your will?
Have you considered a living trust to avoid probate?
Are you taking maximum advantage of tax credits, exemptions, and the marital deduction?
Is the amount of life insurance you own adequate to cover any estate taxes you may owe?
Is the type of life insurance you have appropriate for your situation?
Have you removed your life insurance from your estate?
Are you taking advantage of the annual gift tax exclusion?
Have you created any trusts?
If so, do they qualify for the annual gift tax exclusion?
Are you planning on gifting assets to charity?
Do you know the total value of your current estate?
Are you expecting a large inheritance?
Because the laws that govern estate planning vary from state to state, and because the preparation of legal documents should be done only by a legal professional you trust, it is essential that you consult with a qualified attorney who is familiar with estate planning in general and with the specific state laws that are applicable to your individual estate plan.