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Other Names: Probate and Estate Planning Worksheet Estate Planning Checklist
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What is an Estate Planning Worksheet?

An Estate Planning Worksheet can be an important document to get you organized, regardless of marital status. Every estate will have beneficiaries: family, friends, or charities just to name a few. An Estate Planning Worksheet from Rocket Lawyer can serve as a comprehensive estate planning checklist to sort out how you're going to take care of the people that matter most. 
An Estate Planning Worksheet can help you organize your important information. Are you going to need more complex planning? Are there any issues that might crop up in the administering of your estate? What is even going to be included in your estate? Do you need to organize a little to prepare for a meeting with an advisor? No matter the size of your estate chances are you'll have some questions that need to be sorted out. Our Estate Planning Worksheet can help you prepare and ensure everything comes together.

When to use an Estate Planning Worksheet:

  • You're about to draft a trust or will.
  • You want to determine the size your estate.
  • You want to determine whether more complex estate planning is appropriate.
  • You're preparing for a meeting with a financial, tax, or estate advisor.

Sample Estate Planning Worksheet

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Prepared on




. PERSONAL INFORMATION: The person preparing the Will needs to know some personal information about you, including your marital status and whether you have children.


  Will writer







  Phone Ext.


Marital Status: I am single and have no immediate plans to become married.


Prior Marriages:




. THE VALUE OF YOUR ESTATE: The value of estate assets is needed to determine whether "estate taxes" may be an important consideration in the preparation of a will (or living trust). Although federal estate taxes are not usually a factor in estates of less than $5,120,000 as of 2012, it may become important to consider more complex estate planning techniques in estates of $4,000,000 which could grow to those levels. The manner in which assets are held (e.g., "jointly" or "in one name only") is also important in determining who will receive certain property (i.e., generally, "joint" property goes to the "surviving" joint tenant regardless of what the will may provide).


  Cash Accounts


  Retirement Accounts

  Life Insurance

  Personal Residence

  Other Real Estate

  Business Property

  Personal Property

  Other Assets

  Personal Residence Mortgage

  Credit Cards

  Other Loans and Debts



. DISTRIBUTION OF THE ESTATE ASSETS: The persons or organizations (beneficiaries) who will receive the assets of the estate must be identified.


This summary assumes that any specific bequests noted above have already been made.This summary assumes that any specific bequests noted above have already been made.This summary assumes that any specific bequests noted above have already been made.. When the youngest child reaches the target age, the Trustee begins an outright distribution of the trust assets to the children.When the youngest child reaches the target age, the Trustee begins outright distributions of the the trust assets to the children.The trust assets should be distributed outright to my children when my youngest living child has reached the age of years. Rather than distributing all of each child's share at one time, the assets should be distributed in

First Choice:

(The Guardian cares for the "person," while the Trustee manages the property of the minor.)


  Name and



Second Choice:


  Name and


  City, State ,


. EXECUTOR: An executor is the person or organization named in a Will who has the responsibility to carry out the terms of the Will (i.e., collect the assets, pay the debts, and distribute the remaining assets to the beneficiaries). In some states, the executor is also known as a "personal representative".



  - "Living trust" -- a trust created during a person's lifetime that can act as a Will substitute.


  - "Marital deduction" -- a tax law provision that allows an unlimited amount to be distributed under a Will (or Living Trust) to a spouse, without being subject to federal estate taxes.


  - "Credit trust" -- a trust created under a Will (or as part of a Living Trust) that allows a married couple to maximize the amount of estate assets that will not be subject to federal estate taxes.


  - "Marital trust" -- a trust created under a Will (or as part of a Living Trust) that provides support for a surviving spouse and can also specify how the marital trust assets should be distributed after the spouse's death.


  - "Generation skipping transfer tax" -- a tax on transfers to grandchildren and other "skip persons" after the aggregate amount of such gifts and bequests exceeds $5,000,000 in 2012 or $1,000,000 after 2012.


  - "Irrevocable life insurance trust" -- a mechanism for owning life insurance policies so that the death benefits payable on the policies are not subject to federal estate tax.


  - "Charitable trust" -- a trust that provides income or other benefits to a charitable organization, and also provides income tax and estate tax advantages to the person who contributes assets to the trust.



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