Thursday, November 4, 2021

Estate Planning – A Basic Checklist

While it may seem uncomfortable to think about what will happen when you pass, perhaps it is better to consider the question “In what ways can I still be there for my loved ones even after I am gone?”  At Gibbons Law Firm we know that having a good estate plan in place is an act of love.  But far too many people put it off … not because they think it is not important, they know it is.  But they put it off because they think it is going to be too awkward.  

Our estate planning attorneys at the Lake of the Ozarks are familiar with the estate planning process and skilled at guiding our clients through with comfort and ease.  We are here to help make the idea of estate planning a little less intimidating for you.  So, we want to share a short checklist of things you will need for your estate plan, so you don’t feel overwhelmed, or delay any longer.  If you do not yet have an estate plan, keep reading this blog to learn how to get started gathering the things you will need!

1) Assets

You will want to start a list of your assets.  Think about properties like your house, and car(s), bank accounts, life insurance policies, retirement plans, etc.  Also consider valuables like jewelry, guns, coin collections, and such.  But keep in mind, some families have more conflict over personal items like photographs or sentimental things so it can be good to include those in your estate plan as well.  The less you leave open for debate the more peaceful it may be.

2) Liabilities

Having a list of your liabilities is also helpful.  Include any mortgage(s) or lines of credit, and other loans or debts that you are responsible for.


3) Needs

What are the needs of your family now and in the future?  That will be an important question to direct where your assets will go.  For example, how much will be needed to cover your children’s care and educational needs?  Does your life insurance policy reflect those needs?   Who will be a guardian to your children?  You will want to name someone who you have talked to and is in agreement; and have a backup if possible.


4) Beneficiaries

Who do you wish to inherit your assets?  Designating who gets what, or how things will be distributed, can save your family a lot of time, money, frustration (and potential conflict). 


5) Directives

Outlining your wishes and naming the people who will represent you if you are unable is another key part of estate planning.  Your Mid-Missouri estate planning attorney will help you document your medical wishes with a medical care directive, and help you assign power of attorney or limited power of attorney based on your needs and wishes. Your attorney will know and guide you if there are other directives needed for your personal situation and can advise you as you decide on who these important representatives should be.

Call Gibbons Law Firm to Schedule an Appointment!

Getting an estate plan in place is not as daunting as it may seem.  If you have been avoiding the conversation about what will happen when you pass away, but know it is something you really should get taken care of, Gibbons Law Firm understands.  It is our goal to make the entire experience easy and stress free and we know just how to do it with the right team of legal experts to walk you through the process.    If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact our law firm in Lake Ozark for a free consultation.  Be sure to follow us on our social media channels listed below for more tips and helpful information! 

Remember, your initial consultation with Gibbons Law Firm is always free.

Your Trusted Legal Resource

Gibbons Law Firm
2820 Bagnell Dam Blvd, Suite B4
Lake Ozark, MO 65049

(573) 348-2211

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