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9 Easy Ways to Build a Strong Estate Plan

9 Easy Ways to Build a Strong Estate Plan

Taking the time to create an estate plan can help you decide how to distribute the hard-earned resources you have accumulated throughout your lifetime. Follow this framework to build a plan that achieves your personal and charitable goals and recognizes the people and causes you cherish most.

1. Determine which people and charities should receive your assets and whether the gifts should be made outright or in a trust. Contact us to learn about the variety of ways to remember CEDARS Home for Children Foundation, Inc. in your estate plan.

2. Select a trusted family member, friend or responsible party—such as a bank or trust company—to administer your estate, which includes following the instructions in your will and distributing assets.

3. Prepare an advanced directive (also known as a health care power of attorney) to indicate who should make health care decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so. You should also decide if you want a living will, which directs that no extraordinary life-sustaining medical procedures will be used to prolong life when there is no hope of recovery.

4. Outline your funeral plans, including the names of people you want to be notified after
your passing.

5. Calculate your net worth and list all of your financial assets, including bank account numbers, insurance policies and retirement plan assets.

6. Compile a list of all of your personal data, including Social Security number, date of birth and digital information, such as online accounts, user names and passwords.

7. Record the locations of important documents, such as your vehicle title, marriage certificate, copies of prior years’ tax returns, as well as the name of your accountant and estate planning attorney.

8. Ensure that your will is available outside of your safe-deposit box, which in some states can be closed when you die and not immediately accessible.

9. Consult an estate planning attorney or tax advisor for assistance as you develop your plan.

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If you’re considering naming CEDARS Home for Children Foundation, Inc. in your will as you make or update your estate plan, please let us know so we can ensure that your gift is used as you intended.


The information in this publication is not intended as legal or tax advice. For such advice, please consult an attorney or tax advisor. Figures cited in examples are for hypothetical purposes only and are subject to change. References to estate and income taxes include federal taxes only. State income/estate taxes or state law may impact your results.