Skip to Content
Investing Specialists

An Estate Planning Checklist

'Estate planning' evokes complexity and high costs. What you need to know to get it done.

"Estate planning" is off-putting on so many levels. Let's start with "estate," which conjures up images of the uber-wealthy setting aside giant tracts of land for the next generation. (Do I even have an estate, you wonder?) And once you delve deeper and find out that estate planning revolves around organizing your affairs in case of your death or incapacity, the project sounds even less compelling than cleaning the gutters or shredding those giant piles of paperwork that have been accumulating in your office. Then there are the costs: Properly drafted estate plans usually involve attorneys, and they like to get paid for their services.

So let’s see … a potentially costly exercise that involves contemplating your demise and may be mainly for rich people anyway. Is it any wonder that so many people put off estate planning, and less than half of the U.S. population has drafted a will?

Transparency is how we protect the integrity of our work and keep empowering investors to achieve their goals and dreams. And we have unwavering standards for how we keep that integrity intact, from our research and data to our policies on content and your personal data.

We’d like to share more about how we work and what drives our day-to-day business.

We sell different types of products and services to both investment professionals and individual investors. These products and services are usually sold through license agreements or subscriptions. Our investment management business generates asset-based fees, which are calculated as a percentage of assets under management. We also sell both admissions and sponsorship packages for our investment conferences and advertising on our websites and newsletters.

How we use your information depends on the product and service that you use and your relationship with us. We may use it to:

  • Verify your identity, personalize the content you receive, or create and administer your account.
  • Provide specific products and services to you, such as portfolio management or data aggregation.
  • Develop and improve features of our offerings.
  • Gear advertisements and other marketing efforts towards your interests.

To learn more about how we handle and protect your data, visit our privacy center.

Maintaining independence and editorial freedom is essential to our mission of empowering investor success. We provide a platform for our authors to report on investments fairly, accurately, and from the investor’s point of view. We also respect individual opinions––they represent the unvarnished thinking of our people and exacting analysis of our research processes. Our authors can publish views that we may or may not agree with, but they show their work, distinguish facts from opinions, and make sure their analysis is clear and in no way misleading or deceptive.

To further protect the integrity of our editorial content, we keep a strict separation between our sales teams and authors to remove any pressure or influence on our analyses and research.

Read our editorial policy to learn more about our process.