You probably have a Last Will and Testament describing how assets are to be distributed, but have you made a list of where those assets can be found?
You want to make sure your family is able to locate everything you have worked so very hard for. An asset inventory is a simple list which makes it easier on your loved ones by telling them exactly where to find all your assets and various accounts.
What are my assets?
Assets are tangible and intangible things you own or have a right to when alive or after you die. You may have numerous bank accounts with different banking institutions, cash, collectibles, online accounts, emails, retirement plans, (life) insurance policies, and perhaps even receive “paperless” statements only via email. It is a good idea to leave a list of passwords, account numbers and locations. Your asset inventory may include:
- Bank and investment accounts
- Safe Deposit Box
- Insurance and annuity policies
- Stocks and bonds
- Deeds and titles
- Retirement Accounts (IRA, 401K, etc.)
- Life Insurance policies (any post-death benefits)
- Cash, jewelry, valuables
- Email and online accounts with passwords.
- Certain bills or premiums you pay may also be included
- Combinations to a safe or location of a safe key
What does this matter?
This is a very important Estate Planning step that most people forget about. Doing this very simple step, could save your loved ones hours of time and energy trying to locate and organize all your various assets. Plus it will ensure all your assets are accounted for. Once you die, holders of most of these assets have knowledge of your death or even if they did, an obligation to notify your heir that the asset exact. This huge responsibly falls onto your Personal Representative (or Executor of your Will). This is the person you named in your Will to collect, manage, and distribute your assets and pay your last bills.
What do I do after I “Map my assets”?
After you have mapped it all out, tell a loved one where you are going to keep the list. Generally you keep it in your safe along with your Will and other important documents (remember you should give someone the combination to your safe or a way to access it). Remember to periodically update your asset inventory, and always update your Will with major life events.
Call Perry Law Office now and our experienced attorneys will help you decide if now is the time to make changes to your Will or help you with your other Estate Planning needs.