The Ultimate Estate Planning Guide

Financial Planning
Estate Planning Checklist

For your family, the period after your death will be an extremely difficult time. By creating an estate plan, you are doing everything within your power to help them through it.

By following this checklist you can rest assured you are taking the necessary steps to look after yourself and your family towards the end of your life and beyond.


Make a Will

In a Will, you state who you want to inherit your property when you pass away. Moreover, you can name a guardian for your young children should anything happen to both you and the other parent.


Consider a setting up trust

By putting your property into a trust your beneficiaries can avoid the time consuming and expensive process of going through probate court to distribute your estate, You can also place assets into a trust for your minor children to inherit once they become adults.


Appoint a power of attorney

A lasting power of attorney ( LPA ) is a legal document that lets you appoint one or more people (known as ‘attorneys’) to help you make decisions or to make decisions on your behalf if you lack mental to capacity. An attorney can be appointed for decisions related to your health i.e. resuscitation or treatment and your finances.


Appoint beneficiaries

Naming a beneficiary for bank accounts and retirement plans makes the account automatically “payable on death” to your beneficiary and allows the funds to skip the probate process. Likewise, in almost all states, you can register your stocks, bonds, or brokerage accounts to transfer to your beneficiary upon your death.


Life insurance

If there are people who are financially dependent on you for example children or elderly relatives you should consider taking out life insurance to pay your beneficiaries a lump sum in the event of your death. You may also wish to take out life insurance if you have a mortgage on a property or other significant debts.


Understand Inheritance Tax

When you pass away your beneficiaries may be liable to pay an inheritance tax bill depending on the size of your estate. To find out if your beneficiaries are liable to pay Inheritance Tax, speak with a financial advisor.


Funeral arrangements

With your Will, you can express your preferences for burial or cremation along with other funeral arrangements such as music and location. Controlling what happens to your remains following your passing can remove a large amount of stress for your family. You may also wish to set aside an amount of money to cover funeral-related expenses.



Family heirlooms are sometimes high in sentimental value, but low in actual value. Because of this, they are sometimes left out of a person’s Will. To avoid confusion about their destination, make sure you name the beneficiary of the family heirlooms in your possession.


Digital assets

Many people have online platforms which have an underlying value. This could be anything from an email address to a Facebook group to an online business. Upon your death your, these assets can be passed to your beneficiaries, without leaving this in your Will, these valuable platforms can often lay dormant.

Protect your business

If you’re the sole owner of a business, you should have a succession plan. If you own a business with others, you should have a buyout agreement.

Store your important documents safely

Following all of these important steps is essential, but if you fail to notify someone of the whereabouts of your documents they may never be actioned.

Offcourse we are happy to help you set this all up at Credence, please submit your details at our contact us page and someone will be in touch to help you with this. –> Estate Planning HelpEstate Planning Checklist