Law Office of Lori Vella

Your Estate Planning Checklist

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If you like working off a checklist, use this as a step-by-step guide to your personal estate planning. 

Step One

  • Complete Last Will and Testament, Power of Attorney, Health Care Surrogate and Living Will.
  • Store all Originals and download the electronic copies (scan the originals).  It is usually not a good idea to store your Will in a safety deposit box as it is cumbersome for your family to access it when needed

Step Two

  • Bring Power of Attorney to banks or other financial institutions so that they may copy it and keep it on file, if necessary (for spouses who frequently travel or have business interests).
  • Give a copy of your estate plan documents to named Personal Representative and keep the other in a safe place, if agreeable to you.
  • Contact Financial Planner, if necessary
  • Beneficiary designations.  Confirm you have the correct beneficiaries named to match the beneficiaries of your Will, especially if a Testamentary Trust is involved.  Or, name correct beneficiaries to comply with your overall intentions for your complete estate plan.

Step Three

  • Long-term care coverage. Discuss with financial advisor. 
  • Compile list of asset/account information and organized important papers for ease of locating.  (Use our Estate Plan Organizer plus a fire-proof, waterproof drawer or box).

Step Four

  • Create Ethical Will, if desired.

To receive this list as a PDF, email

Based out of Tampa, Florida, Lori is mom to a fantastic 5-year-old boy. They love to go on local adventures, travel and play with matchbox cars for seemingly endless hours. Lori enjoys reading classic novels, organic gardening, and studying languages with her son. She considers herself well-versed in Seinfeld and welcomes any trivia!

Disclaimer: The Law Office of Lori Vella’s website contains general information directed to Florida residents. This firm does not intend to give legal advice through its pages and/or blog. If you need legal advice, we encourage you to find an attorney licensed in your state. This language on this website does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and this firm.

2 thoughts on “Your Estate Planning Checklist”

  1. That’s a good idea to start off with your will when estate planning. I could see how that would be a good way to know what other needs you may have. If I decide to plan my estate, I’ll have to start off with what I want in my will.

  2. Pingback: Tampa Teachers Writing Wills as “Back to School” Planning - Law Office of Lori Vella, PLLC

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