Preparing Estate Planning

NOTE: Nothing in this section of the website is to be construed as legal advice or investment advice. Such advice should be sought from a lawyer, a tax accountant, a stockbroker or an estate-planning professional.

Why “Preparing for Estate Planning”?!?

Whether you do your annual income tax return yourself or use the services of a tax accountant, you know that calculating the taxes is merely the final stage of a gargantuan task. Gathering all the receipts and forms, organizing them, listing related items and adding up the numbers that must be plugged into the IRS form is the major part of the job.

The same goes for estate planning. None of the professionals who will be assisting you — your lawyer, your accountant, your stockbroker or even a financial planning specialist — can help you until you have accomplished a great deal of important groundwork. It’s simply not cost-effective to let these professionals start their hourly-rate clocks before you are prepared to give them the information they need.

In the ensuing sections you will find the following information:

Steps in Preparing for Estate Planning Use this checklist to make sure you have thought through all considerations before you seek professional advice.

Look at sample Estate Objectives prepared by the fictional Mary and John Dough.

Look at the One-Page Estate Summary prepared by the Doughs so they and the professionals with whom they worked could get The Big Picture.

This material was prepared by Todd Hunt, director of the Retired Faculty Association of Rutgers University.