Make a list of assets to include when estate planning

Making the decision to create an estate plan is one that most people will not regret. In fact, estate planning can better ensure that California residents are able to express their end-of-life and wishes to their family members in a legally-binding way. One of the easier places to start with this process is to consider the assets to include.

Valuable assets often come to mind when individuals begin thinking about how they want to distribute their property. Certainly, assets like real estate and vehicles are important to consider, but it is important not to overlook other smaller, sentimental items. Personal property like books, furniture and jewelry are all important assets to keep in mind when estate planning. Remembering to include them could prevent family members from potentially fighting over them later.

It is also important to remember less tangible assets. For instance, if a person has an interest in a business, the associated assets could need including in the estate plan. Additionally, investments, intellectual property, life insurance policies and much more need to be included. Even if some assets are payable-on-death accounts, it is wise to include them in an inventory to ensure that beneficiary designations have been made and are up to date.

Knowing what assets a person has can go a long way in organizing information. Estate planning could be considered an organizational process, so it is important that California residents know what they are working with. Once they understand their assets, they may be better able to gain an idea of what planning tools could best suit their needs.

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