Your estate plan is more than just your legal documents. It includes sharing useful information for your loved ones outside of your will.
One of the best ways to bolster your estate plan is by creating an asset list. An asset list helps your executor and loved ones identify and locate your belongings after you pass.
Here are the steps for how to create an asset list for your loved ones.
1. Decide how you want to create your asset list
An asset list is a document that complements your will. It’s not a legal document so there is no set format that you need to follow.
At Willful, we’ve made creating asset lists easy by building it into our online platform. Follow the prompts and we’ll help you generate easy-to-follow asset list documents.
2. Determine the items that need to be included in your asset list
Your asset list should include everything you own of sentimental or financial value. You don’t need to list every single item you own, but if it’s important that it gets passed on – you should probably include it in your list.
Common things to include in an asset list include:
- Physical assets – including property, vehicles, collectible items of value etc.
- Financial assets – including bank accounts, credit cards, investments, pensions etc.
- Insurance assets – including life, home, health, mortgage etc.
For every item you should include key details around where they’re located, how your executor can access them, and any other specific details that will help settle your estate. With Willful asset lists, we’ll walk you through the key details that you should consider including.
Remember: Your asset list is not a legal document. If you would like to assign any assets as gifts to specific people, you will need to do this in the specific gifts section of your last will and testament. An asset list meant to complement your will to help your executor and loved ones navigate the estate settlement process.
3. Gather key documentation
For some of your assets, your executor will benefit from having supporting documentation. Make sure to include copies of these documents to store with your asset list. This will assist your Executor with carrying out their responsibilities which include paying off estate debts, recovering money owed, paying your final tax return, and distributing assets and gifts to your beneficiaries.
Some supporting documentation you may want to include:
- Title and ownership documents for properties owned
- Vehicle ownership and permit
- Insurance policies
4. Store your asset list in safe place
Unlike your will and power of attorney documents, your executor doesn’t need to have the original copy of your asset lists. This means you can have multiple copies. One of the best places to store your asset list is with your last will and testament and other estate planning documents. This makes it simple for your executor to locate your documents.
It’s important to communicate with your appointed executor and family so they know where all your key documents are located and how they can access them.
5. Update your asset list
Over time, your assets will likely change. When that happens, you should be updating your list of assets. With Willful, you can update your asset list (and other legal documents) easily, anytime!
Remember – if you sell or purchase assets and update your list, destroy any older copies and let your loved ones know you’ve made an update. Otherwise, if your executor finds an outdated copy, they might end up on a wild goose chase looking for assets that no longer exist.
Ready to create your asset list? Start for free today →