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The importance of an estate planning checklist

No one likes to think about dying, but if thinking about the welfare of loved ones left behind is part of the process, it is something that needs pondering. Estate planning is part of that process and Arkansas residents who want to ensure their loved ones are taken care of when they are no longer around may want to develop a planning checklist. Such a list will help individuals to have a comprehensive estate plan.

There's much more to an estate plan than a simple will to ensure a testator's wishes are carried out. Individuals need to take stock of all their assets and that means everything of value, either monetary or personal. This can be a time-consuming task, but integral to having a complete estate plan. This list should also include those assets which are intangible such as insurance policies and retirement plans.

Itemizing debts is just as important as doing so with assets. These should include any outstanding loans, credit cards and mortgages. For those who have memberships in various organizations like the American Legion, alumni groups, AARP and others -- they should also be listed since some of these organizations have benefits for which beneficiaries may be eligible. All these things should be copied and given to an estate planning lawyer.

It's true that all-encompassing estate planning takes some preparation and time, but an Arkansas lawyer may be able to help facilitate the process. A lawyer is able to convey to his or her client what documents are needed and why. An attorney can help his or her client work on important documents such as a last will, powers of attorney, health care directives, living wills and trusts.     

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