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Steps to Estate Planning – A Checklist

How important is it to have a will? A will is the only way to direct the disposition of your assets as you wish, determine the guardians of any minor children, make special provisions for the care of an elderly or disabled person, select who is to administer your estate, arrange your estate for maximum tax-effectiveness, and to make bequests to the organizations that are significant to you. If you do not have such a document, the state in which you reside will make all of the above decisions without taking into account your wishes. A will is important no matter what you perceive to be the size of your estate (often it's much larger than you think!), and is more effective than relying solely on joint ownership provisions

What to consider:

  • Powers of attorney (general, special, limited)
  • Gifting to heirs
  • Guardianship (crucial for families with children)
  • Conservatorship
  • Will or revocable living trust?
  • Legacy planning - money working for social good after you pass
  • Entity planning for business interests (including commercial real estate)

What is a perfect estate plan:

  • Documents that are properly counseled, designed and drafted to express your plan of stewardship for your estate
  • Assets that are properly titled
  • Regularly updated ("Estate Planning is a Process, not an Event.")
  • Educated family members
  • Controlled and known settlement costs

The way ahead:

  • You and your family should meet together to determine your family's hopes, goals, aspirations and dreams – what will be your legacy?
  • Meet with counsel to identify the best tools to meet your legacy goals
  • If you choose to share a portion of your legacy with the Air Force Academy Foundation, discuss with us to identify procedures. and designating the projects which you want your legacy to support
  • Draft, sign, and implement your estate plan

The Air Force Academy Foundation is not engaged in rendering legal or tax advisory service. For advice or assistance in specific cases, the services of an attorney and/or other professional advisors should be obtained.