Knowing the value of your estate is essential in making strategic decisions in your estate plan. Your net worth (assets minus liabilities) dictates not your lifestyle but also what your estate will owe when you are gone. An experienced estate planning attorney can work with you to preserve as much wealth as possible and to save your estate from paying unnecessary taxes.
Your net worth is determined by adding all of your assets and subtracting all of your debts and liabilities from that total. Below is a sample asset list to help you get started (you may need to add other types of assets you own). Your list should include asset names, account numbers and values. The easiest way to value your assets is to use the most recent statement from your financial institutions. You can estimate the value of your real property by checking your property tax records.
- Bonds and Bond Funds
- Stocks and Stock Funds
- Retirement Accounts (401k’s, pensions, IRA’s, SEP’s)
- Cars, trucks, and Recreational Vehicles
- Real Property (homestead, vacation homes, timeshares)
Once you have a total value of assets, you need to total your liabilities. Use the list below as a start (you may have more liabilities not listed here):
- Student Loans
- Credit Card Debt
- Home Equity Loan(s)
- Car Loans
- Personal Debts Owed
Getting Legal Help
To learn more about estate planning and what you need to do to protect your assets and your loved ones, contact experienced estate planning attorney Elga Goodman. Call us today at 973-841-5111.