Estate Planning Checklist: What to Consider Before Starting

According to a 2021 Gallup poll, 46% of Americans currently have a will that describes how they would like their estate to be administered after their death. Unfortunately, this low number means that many families in America will be left with the complicated problem of settling their loved one’s estate after their passing without knowing their wishes. 

An estate plan is essential for many different reasons, but protecting your family from the problems that arise when you don’t have a will is one of the most important. 

At my law firm, The Law Office of Gregory L. Williams, I am passionate about helping my clients prepare for whatever the future might bring. Whether you already have an idea about what you want in your estate planning or you’ve never thought about the details before, I am here to help. The Law Office of Gregory L. Williams is proud to serve clients in Columbus, Ohio, and throughout Central Ohio.

What Is Estate Planning?

Before you start the estate planning process, it is important to know what is involved in drafting an estate plan. An estate plan is typically more than a will. It is a set of documents that answers a wide range of questions about a variety of situations. 

Estate planning is a process that involves drafting and establishing the legally-enforceable documents you need to make sure your wishes are respected. This could include a will, trust, power of attorney, advance healthcare directive, special needs planning, personal property memorandum, and a letter of intent. You may need some or all of these documents in your estate plan. Speak with an experienced estate planning attorney to learn more.

What Should I Consider
Before I Draft an Estate Plan?

Drafting an estate plan involves making many serious decisions regarding who will receive what from your estate. 

  • First, you need to know how much your estate is worth. Make a list of both your assets and debts to find how much you will be able to bequeath. 
  • Then, think about your goals for your estate. Consider the type of legacy that you want to leave behind. List the people you would like to be beneficiaries of your estate.
  • It is also essential to think about the care for any loved ones who are not able to care for themselves, such as family members with special needs, minor children, and pets.
  • You will need to designate an individual to carry out your wishes as your personal representative. It is also important to consider choosing an individual who will make financial and legal decisions on your behalf.
  • Another point you must consider is the possibility that you will experience a medical emergency that will leave you incapacitated and unable to make your own decisions. This type of medical emergency is difficult to consider, but it may happen. Think about who you would want to make healthcare decisions for your treatment on your behalf. 
  • It is also important to consider your end-of-life arrangements. Consider how you would want your remains to be treated and the arrangements for your funeral or memorial services.

Consider whether you would like to make any charitable bequests as part of your estate plan. Finally, if you are a business owner, you will need to make decisions regarding your business succession plan. 

Estate Planning Guidance You Can Trust

Drafting an estate plan can be a complicated and intensive process. A knowledgeable estate planning attorney can provide guidance along each step of the way. With my ten years of experience, I am passionate about helping my clients achieve the best possible outcome that protects their families. My firm, The Law Office of Gregory L. Williams, proudly serves clients in Columbus, Ohio, and throughout Central Ohio. Contact my firm today to schedule an appointment.


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