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Estate Planning, Part 3: Create an Estate-Planning Checklist

Essentials You Don't Want to Overlook

Providing an estate-planning checklist is part of our four-part estate-planning series, and although Ally Bank doesn't offer services in this area, we're always on the lookout for ways we can help customers make informed financial decisions. An estate-planning checklist should include:

  • A will. This document describes how you want your assets to be distributed, and any special instructions that you want carried out. Basically, every adult should have a will.
  • A durable power of attorney. A durable power of attorney formally designates someone to take care of your affairs while you are alive if you cannot, for example, if you are sick, have been in an accident, or are otherwise disabled.
  • A medical power of attorney. This checklist item names someone who has the authority to make major medical decisions for you when you cannot, including end-of-life decisions.

Information you need to gather in order to create an estate plan should include:

  • A net-worth statement. List all your larger assets and any special gifts you would want to make. Include liabilities as well as assets.
  • Assess your life insurance and bank accounts. Correctly titling and listing beneficiaries on certificates of deposit (CDs) as well as on money market, savings, and checking accounts can smooth the transfer of these assets.
  • Name and executor or co-executors. An executor is the person you want to administer your estate. If you have children, you’ll need to name a guardian.
  • Think about what you might want to say. If you have personal communication to pass along, such as expressions of affection and personal values, include these sentiments in your estate plan.

Once you have an estate plan in place, be sure to update it after major life events, such as a marriage or after the birth of a child. Acquiring or selling large assets, such as property or a home, may require an update as well.

How Ally Bank Can Help

Wherever you are in the estate planning process, consider that Ally Bank offers a variety of banking products from checking to savings products and even IRAs—all at interest rates that are consistently among the most competitive in the country. Learn more at Allybank.com or call live, 24/7 customer care at 877-247-ALLY (2559) today.