1) Who will care for your kids, and how? Include specifics about your wishes for how your children will be raised and the beliefs you want them to have.
2) What do you own? Don't forget about retirement accounts at your previous employers, digital assets, fine art and intellectual property (such as patented inventions or copyrighted works).
3) What do you owe? Make sure your family is aware of what creditors may come to collect after your death.
4) Who gets what? Equal distributions are not always fair. Be sure to consider whether an heir is unable to care for himself or needs help managing his money.
5) Do you need a trust? If you have a blended family, your children are minors, or someone needs extra help with his inheritance, then talk to your estate planning attorney about setting up a trust.
6) Who will inherit your retirement accounts? Most retirement assets pass by beneficiary designations, not by a will or trust. Make sure those beneficiaries are up-to-date and complement, rather than contradict, the rest of your estate plan.
7) Who will run your business? Make sure you are not part of the 70% of family businesses that don't survive into the second generation.
8) Are you fully insured? Make sure your family knows where all of your insurance policies are kept. Leave instructions about how the premiums are paid so your survivors don't accidentally close the bank account that is debited to pay premiums.
9) Who will take care of you, and how? Be considerate of those you ask to be your caregivers; it is a big job. If you have long-term care insurance, make sure your caregivers have all necessary details pertaining to that insurance.
10) Who will make your medical decisions? Make sure the person you choose to be your medical power of attorney has detailed instructions about the care you want as well as any measures that you don't want to be taken.
* This blog was originally posted by Legal Strategies, PC.