For most of you, there is nothing more important in your lives than family. They are often the motivation behind everything you do and the effort you put into succeeding is to make the best life possible for those you love. No one wants to think about what happens to their family after you move on from this life, but the reality is life eventually comes to an end.


Nobody knows when they will pass away. It’s difficult to think about but we all know this reality you must plan for instead of pushing it out of our minds. Just like any future planning in life, we must prioritize future planning for the transition our family will make when they’re left without you.

It takes a courageous person to plan for this reality and often we are reminded of this when we hear of someone we know passing away.

That’s why we’ve put together this Estate Planning Checklist


Do you have a will?

Are you happy with the executor(s) and trustee(s) you have chosen?

Have you executed a living will or health care proxy in the event of a tragic illness or disability?

Do you have a living trust to avoid probate?

If you have a living trust, have you titled your assets in the name of the trust?


If you have children, does your will name a guardian in case you and your spouse are deceased?

If you want to limit your spouse’s flexibility regarding the inheritance, have you created a Q-TIP trust?

Are you sure you have the right type and amount of life insurance to provide for survivor income, loan repayments, capital needs, and all estate settlement expenses?

Have you considered creating trusts for family gift giving?

Have you considered an irrevocable life insurance trust to exclude the insurance proceeds from being taxed as part of your estate?


If you are married, are you taking full advantage of the marital deduction?

Are you gifting to family members to take advantage of the $15,000 per person annual gift tax exclusion?

Have you gifted assets with a strong likelihood of future appreciation to maximize future estate tax savings?

Have you thought about charitable trusts that could provide you with both estate and income tax benefits?

Have you considered tax planning to avoid excessive taxes in retirement that may eat a large portion of your retirement savings that can contribute to your estate?

If you have an IRA, have you considered an alternative to the newly eliminated stretch IRA for heirs?


If you own a business, do you have a succession plan?

Have you considered a gift program that involves your family-owned business?


  • A good plan is central to the physical, emotional, and mental wellbeing of yourself and your survivors
  • By planning, you can properly preserve and pass on the assets you have worked hard to earn
  • A plan will help determine the most advantageous means of owning property while you are alive
  • Planning may help minimize estate and income taxes, administrative expenses, executor’s commissions, and attorney’s fees after your passing
  • An estate plan can help provide funds for the education of future generations
  • An estate plan can help provide adequate monies to care for expenses upon your death
  • Coordinating your estate plan with your tax-reduction plan can help you make the most of the money you have and make now while ensuring there is plenty for your survivors!

Although this is not a comprehensive guide, it does provide a starting point to determine how well prepared you are. If you are uncertain about the answers to any of these questions, it may be wise to make time for a professional legal and financial discussion.

Already have a solid plan in place? It’s always wise to review it in case of any updates or changes you may want to make especially if you have not considered a tax reduction strategy yet.

Ronald Gelok & Associates

You deserve to know why estate planning and tax-reduction planning are crucial to your unique situation and how it can be done. To learn how your financial health has been and continues to be impacted by taxes and what you can do about it now, schedule a free virtual time to chat with our team of experts. Click the link below, call 1-800-467-8152, or email to kickstart your tax-saving plan today.



If you’re curious how you could optimize your retirement or financial plan, let’s talk. You can select from any of these options:

  • Free discovery call. Ask any question you want. We can help you find the answers.
  • Second opinion service. Already have an advisor? We can help give you a second opinion about your retirement strategies.
  • Retirement Income Roadmap. This customized roadmap spells out when and where all your retirement income will come from – and how long it will last!
  • Income Tax Reduction Analysis. Our most popularly requested item. This specialized report projects by how much certain strategies will reduce your income taxes.
  • Full appointment with one of our advisors. Ready to have an advisor with a passion for tax-reduction on your team? Book an appointment to get started.