We all have mountains of paperwork we file away each month: bills, retirement account statements, investment statements, life insurance policy value updates. Some of us now also have many accounts online which require passwords and usernames for access instead of paper statements. When someone passes away, finding all the accounts, insurance policies, and necessary information to close an entire estate can be a monumental search for information.
Creating an inventory of assets not only helps the person who is responsible for closing your estate, but it can also be an invaluable learning experience for yourself. You may have more than you realize, and you can’t prepare a thorough estate plan unless you fully understand what you have to give away.
Estate Planning Assets
The best way to stay organized for yourself and your loved ones is to keep an updated list of assets with account numbers, named individuals on the accounts/titles/deeds, and account contact information. You should also have a list of every online account along with username and password information for your own access and that of your personal representative.
Inventories Must be Updated
Many people create an inventory when they go through the process of initially planning their estate but an inventory should be updated annually. One easy way to annually update your inventory is to collect the statements you get in the mail at the end of the year for tax purposes. Place them all in a folder as they come in the mail and use the contents of the folder to write or update your inventory.
Get Legal Help
An experienced estate planning attorney can help you create an inventory of your assets and make a plan for asset preservation and distribution. Please contact our office at (832) 510-2900 for a complimentary consultation.