It is important to keep a clear record of your assets.
Asset Inventory Pt. 1When it's time to consider creating an Estate Plan many people rush the process and forget to account for all of their assets. Often it is unintentional, but it will most certainly be troubling for your loved ones. Without proper inventory, your loved ones may miss out on necessary financing, which could have made their lives easier.
Before your attorney begins to draft your Estate Plan, you should sit down and do an inventory of your current assets. You can start this process by using a piece of paper or spreadsheet and divide that paper into five headings.
1) What is the asset?
2) Where is the asset?
3) Who owns the asset?
4) What is the asset worth?
5) What are the passwords and usernames for the assets?
Asset Inventory Pt. 2You may want to begin with listing where your Safety Deposit Box is if you have one. Do this by indicating where the key is and what institution holds the box.
Next, determine your cash accounts, such as checking accounts, savings accounts and Certificate of Deposits and answer each of the five questions for each account.
Next, you may want to determine if you own any custodial accounts for children or college saving accounts. These would be accounts that typically say, "for the benefit of."
Next, list any Real Property you own and how you own it. In other words, how do you hold title to the home? Check your grant deed to determine how you own your property. If you do not have your grant deed, the county will provide a duplicate for a small fee.
Next, list any other assets that come to your mind. These could include investments and retirement accounts. Be aware that certain accounts allow you to designate beneficiaries. Try to separate these accounts from those which have no beneficiary designation as this will be significant to your Estate Plan.
Finally, enjoy this process. After all, you are doing this for yourself and your loved ones. The time you spend today will benefit those you love in the future.