The Estate Planning Checklist | What You Need to Know

Read below and reach out to our experienced Montgomery County, PA wills, trusts, and estates attorneys today to learn more about the estate planning checklist.

What is the estate planning checklist in Pennsylvania?

  1. Last will and testament: This document specifies who will inherit certain assets and property after you pass away. This includes real estate, personal possessions, bank accounts, and investment accounts. The recipients of your assets are called your beneficiaries.
  2. Revocable living trust: A revocable living trust is a legal tool that lets you allocate your assets after you die. A revocable living trust is a legal commodity that “owns” the property you put into it while still allowing you to use and control that property while you are living. After you pass away, assets in a revocable living trust can be dispersed to your heirs.
  3. Beneficiary designations: There are specific assets that can skip probate and instead transfer directly to a beneficiary after you die. These types of assets are called non-probate assets and include 401(k) accounts, pensions, and life insurance policies.
  4. Advance healthcare directive: An advance healthcare directive lets you draft how decisions should be made about your medical care if you’re ever unable to make those decisions yourself. There are typically two parts: a living will and medical power of attorney.
  5. Financial power of attorney: With a financial power of attorney, you can give someone the legal authority to manage your finances and property for you. These tasks could include paying bills, making bank deposits, and managing your real estate property.
  6. Insurance policies and financial information: It is beneficial to keep your insurance policy documents together, including those for life, health, car, and home. You should also maintain a list of all your financial accounts and instructions to access them. This involves bank accounts, credit cards, mortgages, loans, tax returns, pension plans, retirement benefits, and investment portfolios. You can keep this information in a spreadsheet or write it in a notebook and keep it with your other estate planning documents.
  7. Digital account logins and passwords: On average, an individual under 70 years old has more than 160 digital accounts. To aid in managing them, you may want to consider using a password manager or digital vault. These platforms can help you keep track of your login information for all your online accounts. It’s also becoming more popular to name a digital executor in your will. A digital executor disperses your digital assets and manages or closes digital accounts after you pass away.

Reach out to our Montgomery County, PA wills, trusts, and estates attorneys if you are interested in learning more about the estate planning process.


Friedman Schuman is an experienced and dedicated legal resource for clients throughout Pennsylvania. We proudly serve clients facing a wide range of legal matters. If you require the services of an effective attorney, please contact Friedman Schuman today to schedule a consultation.

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