Financial Windfall Checklist

General information Yes No N/A
1. Has personal information been gathered?

  • Marital status
  • Date of birth
  • Name of spouse/partner, date of birth
  • Children’s names, dates of birth
  • Health status
  • Social Security numbers
  • State of residence
2. Has financial situation been assessed?

  • Size of financial windfall
  • Manner in which windfall was acquired
  • Date when windfall was received
  • Way in which windfall will be paid (e.g., lump sum, annuity)
Managing your windfall Yes No N/A
1. Has a team of professional advisors been put in place?

  • Attorney
  • Tax advisor
  • Financial advisor
  • Estate planner
  • Real estate broker
  • Insurance agent
  • Investment broker
2. Have the roles of the participants been defined? (e.g., will the client or the advisor make the day-to-day decisions?)
Ways to use your windfall Yes No N/A
1. Will the windfall be used to pay off debts? (e.g., credit cards, mortgages, auto loans)
2. Will the windfall be used to save for a rainy day? (e.g., illness, unemployment)
3. Will the windfall be used to purchase something new? (e.g., house, car, boat)
4. Will the windfall be used to fund children’s college education?
5. Will the windfall be used to fund retirement accounts to maximum?
6. Will the windfall be used to donate to charity?
7. Will the windfall be used to plan a vacation?
8. Has a time frame been established for achieving these goals?
9. Will windfall be used to provide for others? (e.g., parents, siblings)
Investing for the future Yes No N/A
1. Have investment options been considered? (e.g., stocks, bonds, mutual funds, real estate, annuities, collectibles)
2. Have tax-deferred versus taxable accounts been considered?

  • IRAs
  • 401(k) plans
  • Annuities
  • Cash value life insurance
3. Have equity investments been researched/explained?

  • New issue common stock
  • Emerging growth common stock
  • Growth and income fund
  • Small company growth fund
Insurance needs Yes No N/A
1. Is a personal umbrella liability insurance policy in place?

  • Increased protection–peace of mind
  • Blanket coverage
  • Lawsuits tend to look for deep pockets
2. Has consideration been given to post-windfall insurance needs?

  • Homeowners
  • Auto
  • Disability
  • Life
  • Long-term care
Estate planning Yes No N/A
1. Have estate planning options been previously considered by windfall recipient?

  • Consulted a professional
  • Estate planning software
  • Talked to family
  • Made any decisions
2. Is there a valid will?

  • Where is it stored?
  • Who has access to it?
  • When was it last updated?
  • Does it reflect current wishes?
3. Has setting up a trust(s) been considered?

  • Life insurance trust
  • Charitable remainder trust
  • Bypass trust
  • Crummey trust
  • Revocable versus irrevocable trusts
Tax issues Yes No N/A
1. Has windfall recipient contemplated the tax consequences of the windfall?

  • Consider methods to offset any increases (e.g., first or second mortgage, give to charity, save for children’s education)
2. Are records kept for all tax-deductible transactions?

  • Charitable contributions
  • Medical expenses
  • Dependent care expenses
  • Nonreimbursed business expenses
  • Tax preparation fees