Planning your estate: getting started

Having an estate plan is important for everyone, regardless of the size of your estate. It’s most commonly thought of as a plan for managing and giving away assets. But it's also a way to accomplish your goals and share your values through a plan that benefits the people and organizations that are most important to you.  

An estate plan allows you to name people who will help to manage your assets when you are not able to do so. You can also designate the people and organizations who will receive your assets, and for what purpose.

If you don't have an estate plan, state law will determine the distribution of your assets, regardless of your wishes or the needs of your loved ones. Distribution according to state law will likely not be the best way to accomplish your goals, and it will probably be less cost and tax efficient.  

Creating an estate plan may seem like a daunting task, but it doesn't have to be. These PDF forms from our free estate planning kit can help you consider what you want to accomplish with your plan and how best to get started:

Starting to plan your estate

Starting to plan your estate—inventory

Aligning your giving with your values