Estate Planning Checklist

An estate planning checklist to consider

I provide a comprehensive estate planning checklist when I meet with you. However, you can get a jump start on the process by making a list of the following information before we meet:

  1.  Prior Marriages?

    a. Husband: □ Yes □ No

    i. How Terminated? □ Death □ Divorce Date:

    b. Wife: □ Yes □ No

    i. How Terminated? □ Death □ Divorce Date:

    2. Children of this Marriage: □ None Number: Minors:

    3. Children from Prior Marriages:

    a. Husband: □ Yes □ No Number: Minors:

    b. Wife: □ Yes □ No Number: Minors:

    4. Treat all children as if they were the children of this marriage?

    a. □ Yes □ No

    5. Any deceased children? □ Yes □ No

    a. Husband □ Wife □

    b. If yes, survived by issue? □ Yes □ No

    6. Any adopted children? □ Yes □ No Number: Minors:

    7. Number of grandchildren: ________ Range of Ages:

    8. Do any of your beneficiaries have a learning disability, special educational, medical or physical needs? □ Yes □ No

    9. Do you have any relatives (other than children) who depend on you for all or part of their support? □ Yes □ No

    a. Names:

    10. Do you think any of your beneficiaries have special problems with spouses, drugs, alcohol or handling money? □ Yes □ No

    a. Names:

    11. Do you wish to disinherit any of your children, grandchildren or any other close relative? □ Yes □ No

    a. Names:

    12. Do you have an existing Marital Property Agreement? □ Yes □ No

    13. Do either of you expect to inherit substantial assets ($100,000 +)?
    □ Yes □ No

    a. Who?

    14. Have you received, or do you expect to receive any gifts in excess of $12,000.00? □ Yes □ No

    15. Do you have existing Wills? □ Yes □ No

    16. Do you have any existing trusts? □ Yes □ No

    17. Have you ever filed a Federal Gift Tax Return? □ Yes □ No

    18. Do either of you hold a power of appointment? □ Yes □ No

    19. Do you want to appoint a person to make decisions for you regarding continued life support? □ Yes □ No

    20. In general describe how you want to have your asset distributed.

    21. Do you have any specific gifts you would like to make? □ Yes □ No

    a. What and to whom?

    22. Should the surviving spouse have the power to control the distribution of the entire estate after the first death? □ Yes □ No

    23. Do you want any assets to pass to your children before the second spouse’s death? □ Yes □ No

    24. If a beneficiary dies prior to the second spouse’s death, do you want the assets to go to that beneficiary’s issue? □ Yes □ No

    25. Do you want assets passing to your beneficiaries to be held in trust until a specific age or ages? □ Yes □ No

    a. What ages?

    26. If nobody survives to inherit your property is there a charity you wish to leave it to? □ Yes □ No

    a. Name:

    27. Do you need a trust created for your pets? □ Yes □ No

    a. If so, how much money would like to use to fund it?

    b. If so, who would you want to care for your pets?

    28. Any specific concerns (not already mentioned) that you have regarding the distribution of your estate:

Other Frequently Asked Questions

My fees are transparent and fair. In most cases  complete plans will range from $750.00 $1,599.00, flat. Special needs, asset protection and business/professional practice owners plans cost more on a sliding scale. Piecemeal work for amendments varies depending on the work involved. Again, these are flat fees.

Probate, Guardianship and Conservatorship, and Elder Law Planning require payment of a retainer (varies depending on the case), plus hourly.

You will be provided a clear explanation of my fees along with a written fee agreement memorializing the terms of our engagement upon retention.

I accept cash, checks, Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express.

My policy is to promptly return telephone calls. Usually I will call on the same day but always within twenty four hours. I also communicate by email and correspondence depending on the urgency of the situation.

I am available by telephone at: (248) 432-1612 and by email at:

Yes. Preparing a proper estate plan is not a self-help task. To comprehensively plan for whatever the future may bring takes experienced and competent counsel.

Qualified Legal Attorneys
Over 35 Years of Experience
Over 100 hours of continuing legal education
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