What documents and tasks make up an estate-planning checklist?

The four core documents you will hear of in estate planning are:

1)     Will
2)     Trust
3)     Advanced Medical Directive
4)     Durable Financial Power of Attorney

But things are not entirely that simple. Trusts can come in all sorts of flavors and varieties. Wills vary in form and type as well. Perhaps most importantly is the need to manage, and also to perhaps update, your estate documents. Trusts may need to be funded. Assets within a trust may need to be sold, bought, or reinvested. Assets might be moved from Trust to another. The people you appoint as your trustees or those you plan to receive your assets, and the circumstances surrounding them, may change. There are also assets such as bank accounts, retirement accounts, and life insurance that can have beneficiaries designated. So besides creating your estate documents there are tasks to follow including:

5)     Fund your trust
6)     Designate beneficiaries
7)     Keep your estate planning current by managing your estate and perhaps changing your documents or designated beneficiaries