Four Basic Steps to Start Building Your Estate Plan

4 Steps to Starting Your Estate Plan

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This practical handbook will help you move forward with your estate plan.

Did you know that more than 50 percent of Americans have talked about estate planning, but fewer than half have done anything about it?

According to a 2019 Caring.com Wills Survey, people commonly say “I just haven’t gotten around to it” or “I don’t have enough assets to leave” as reasons for not creating an estate plan.

Fortunately, the process is not as difficult as you may think. These are the four basic steps that you should know when starting the process. They are also topics we go into further detail in our free Guide to Planning Your Will & Trust.

Get Started

To help get you started with estate planning, below are the four basic steps to get started in the process:

1. Write Down What You Own:

It is important to understand what property you own and what property will be transferred through your estate. Even if you don’t think you have that much in assets, you may be surprised by what can be included.

2. Work With an Attorney

There are many knowledgeable estate planning attorneys across San Diego that can help you clarify your goals and set a plan in place. Our giving team can also help you select the best attorney for you, and then work with them to execute your charitable wishes.

3. Know How Property is Transferred

Some property is transferred by will and trust, and some is transferred by a beneficiary designation or other form. You need to know how your property will be transferred in order to avoid an accidental disinheritance. With a good plan, your property may be transferred as you desire.

4. Sign Your Estate Plan and Medical Directives

Finally, it is important to sign the documents that correctly express your desires, both for your property and for your potential future personal care.

Let Us Help You Create Your Legacy

No matter your estate and planned giving goals, our team of experts is available to help you and your attorney create a legacy that matches your wishes.

With a well-thought-out plan, you can create a legacy for your family, community and charity that allows all your values and passions to live on after you’re gone.

For more than four decades, our staff at The San Diego Foundation has worked with estate planning attorneys, financial planners, wealth advisors, accountants and other professional advisors to establish, invest and administer planned gifts on behalf of generous San Diegans like you.

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