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Estate Planning: A 6-Step Basic Checklist

What is estate planning?

Your estate is the value of your investments, assets and interests. It is everything of value that you own—real estate, art collections, antiques, investments, insurance, etc. Estate planning is the process of determining who will receive your assets and handle your obligations after your death or incapacitation.

Six steps for a successful estate plan


An estate plan deals with the distribution of assets.

  1. Seek Professional Assistance
    Consult with an experienced estate planning attorney with whom you are comfortable. It may also help to consult with accountants and financial planners.
  2. Create Your Will
    Select a personal representative and direct how your property will be distributed upon your death. Select a guardian for minors and include trust provisions.
  3. Execute a Durable Power of Attorney
    Allow a trusted person to make vital decisions regarding your business, legal and financial affairs. Eliminate the need for court involvement and oversight regarding your affairs.
  4. Execute Advanced Directives
    Everyone should have a living will and a durable power of attorney for healthcare. If you become terminally ill or permanently unconscious, nominate a person to follow your decisions regarding life-sustaining treatment. Also, authorize another individual to make healthcare decisions on your behalf if you cannot make them for yourself.
  5. Consider a Living Trust
    A trust can be funded during your lifetime or at the time of your death. It can be amended or revoked at any time during your life.
  6. Individualize Your Plan
    Every person and estate plan is unique. Yours will vary depending on your family, assets and goals. Take time to design a plan that fits your individual and family needs.

How Elk & Elk can help

At Elk & Elk, our clients are our top priority. We will create an estate plan that is tailored to your specific situation.

Whether you want to update an existing will or are in need of a comprehensive estate plan, the Ohio estate planning attorneys at Elk & Elk can help. We will create a plan that protects your assets and gives your family the future they deserve. 

To discuss your needs, contact us online or call 1-800-ELK-OHIO. Learn more about the head of our probate division, Amy Papesh.