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Update Your Inventory of Assets Often

Updating your Inventory  Helps Your Beneficiaries

When someone passes away, there are piles of paperwork which require attention from the designated personal representative or from the person assigned to take care of financial matters in the decedent’s absence.  The responsibility of paying bills, settling insurance claims and closing bank accounts may fall to a surviving spouse or an adult child of the decedent who will have to organize and pay bills while they are working through their own grief.

Estate Planning Assets

Every person should keep an updated list of assets with account numbers, named individuals on the accounts/titles/deeds, and account contact information.  Some assets that should be included on the inventory are:

  • money market accounts
  • stocks/bonds
  • pensions
  • insurance policies (policy number, benefits, beneficiaries)
  • real property and time shares
  • business interests
  • retirement funds
  • cars/boats/recreational vehicles
  • cash

Inventories Must be Updated

Many people create an inventory when they go through the process of initially planning their estate.  It is common for an individual to have his will drafted once and not think about it again for many years but new assets are purchased and other assets are sold or dissolved over time.

One easy way to create an updated list 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

While you are updating your inventory of assets, you should consult experienced attorney Elga Goodman to find out if your will also needs updating.  Contact us today at 973-841-5111.

Posted in: Estate Planning, New York Estate Planning