Estate Planning Checklist: everything you need to prepare your estate


Ready to write your Will? Use our easy to follow estate planning checklist to get started.

By Tiffany Oliveira, Donor Relations Manager 

Preparing your estate can be overwhelming.  We’ve created this easy estate planning checklist that we hope will help when preparing to draft your Will.  

When you’ve completed a section simply check it off your list and you are one step closer to starting the process! 

Please note this information is meant as a guideline only. We recommend speaking with a professional when you are ready.

Estate planning checklist document

Click the checklist to open a PDF version that you can fill out, download, and print.

1. List your assets and liabilities  

Make sure you include all real estate, personal items, bank account(s), digital asset(s), mortgage(s), loan(s), and credit card(s).  

2. List your beneficiaries 

Create a list of beneficiaries. Make sure you think about dependents, family, friend(s), and any Charitable Organization(s) you would like to include. 

Determine how you would like to divide your estate among those listed above. 

3. Consult with a tax professional   

Although this step isn’t necessary, it will allow you to understand the tax impact on your estate given the decisions you have made for the above. For example, leaving a charitable donation could reduce the tax owed by your estate.  

4. Speak to and determine guardian(s)  

This is important should you have minors. Before writing a name down in your Will be sure to have a conversation with the person(s) you select. It is critical that they are in agreement with and support your plans. 

5. Select and speak to your executor(s)  

Have a conversation with the person(s) you’ve selected as an executor. You may also want to determine a back up should your first choice not be available. Be sure to provide your executor(s) locations and background of your assets, as well as a list and contact information for all key people. 

6. Select a Power of Attorney 

For both property and personal care. Also ensure they are aware of your intentions. 

7. Seek out a professional or write your Will online  

With this form completed, you can now visit someone to draft your Will. Depending on the province you live in you can meet with a lawyer or Notary. If you’re tech-savvy, not looking for legal advice or have a simple Will to complete you can write your Will online.  And you can start your Will today for free with Willfora (Quebec excluded).  

Don’t forget to review your Will every few years or at any major life event. 

If you would like some more information on World Animal Protection or leaving a gift in your Will please contact us via email at or give us a call at 1 800 363 9772 ext 122.  

Download your estate planning checklist now!