What Should I Include on my 2024 Estate Planning Checklist?

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KS and MO Attorney Kyle E Krull

Written by Kyle Krull

Attorney & Counsellor at Law Kyle Krull is president of the Law Offices of Kyle E. Krull, P.A., an Estate Planning Law Firm located in Overland Park, KS. Estate Planning Attorney Kyle Krull has provided continuing education instruction to attorneys, accountants, and financial professionals at local, state, and national programs.

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POSTED ON: April 4, 2024

A checklist can help in managing and addressing the complexities of estate planning.

Some people find making a checklist helps organize and accomplish essential tasks.

Springtime is often seen as a time to be productive.

The winter weather is gone, and daylight hours are getting longer.

The household tasks set aside during the fall and winter can now be addressed.

Garages, closets, and flowerbeds can be cleaned out.

Yards can be mowed.

Summer plans can begin to take shape, and reservations can be made.

Perhaps one of your spring goals is to create or update your estate plan.

Although a last will and testament is part of an estate plan, it does not encompass all estate planning considerations.

Instead, it addresses the distribution and management of assets after you die.

According to a recent National Council on Aging (NCOA) Adviser article titled "Estate Planning Guide and Checklist for 2024," estate planning requires considering aspects of transferring assets, protecting loved ones, and preparing for incapacity.

A checklist is helpful for accomplishing tasks.

Creating a checklist can help you stay organized and focused when estate planning.

Understanding Estate Planning is Vital to Creating a Comprehensive Checklist.

Estate planning involves preparing for your death and incapacity.

These preparations are multifaceted and consider property, money, medical care, and care for dependents.

Documents like trusts, last wills, powers of attorney, and advance health care directives have distinct estate planning roles in providing peace of mind.

What Key Documents Should You Include in an Estate Planning Checklist?

Last Wills

This legal document outlines instructions for the distribution of assets after you have died.

It also allows you to designate an executor to oversee the administration of your estate and a guardian to rear your minor children to adulthood.


Trusts are legal contracts creating an entity to hold property and assets.

A trustee is named to manage and use trust assets on behalf of the beneficiaries according to the instructions outlined in the trust documents.

Powers of Attorney

Powers of attorney are legal documents granting authority to others to make decisions on your behalf.

These can be created for general or specific situations.

Often, they are created to provide direction and protection should you become incapacitated.

Advance Health Care Directives

With these legal documents, you can provide instructions regarding the medical treatments you would like to receive should you be unable to communicate those wishes at the time of treatment.

What are Key Takeaways Regarding Estate Planning?

You should include all of the common estate planning documents on your checklist.

While these include trusts, last wills, powers of attorney, and advance health care directives, you may find, for example, that you do not need a trust to accomplish your goals.

Even so, it may be helpful to put it on your list to ensure you explore the option with an experienced estate planning attorney to determine whether it would be beneficial to your situation and goals.

Everyone Needs a Last Will.

Whether you have many assets to your name or very few, a last will allows you to decide what happens to your property when you die.

Without a last will, the state would decide who inherits, settles your estate, and rears your minor children.


You Should Update Your Estate Plan Regularly.

As life circumstances change, your estate plan will also need to change.

Reviewing and updating your estate plan is crucial to ensuring your current wishes are recorded in your documents.

If you already have an estate plan, include reviewing and updating it on your checklist.

In conclusion, a compressive estate plan is essential to protect everyone you love and everything you have.

Creating a checklist can help you prioritize and stay organized.

Reference: NCOA Adviser (Aug 21, 2023): Estate Planning Guide and Checklist for 2024.

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