There is a lot more to estate planning than writing out your last will and testament.
If you want to ensure your heirs can follow out your wishes in the quickest and most effective manner after your passing, you will need to provide as much detail about your estate as possible.
Itemized inventory of your assets
If you have ever moved homes, you understand the tediousness of itemizing your belongings as you pack them up. While it can be a daunting task, it is essential to maintain a comprehensive list of your assets to accompany your will. Start by walking through your home and making a list of your valuable items including jewelry, art, computers or tools. Additionally, you will want to include non-physical assets such as bank accounts, life insurance policies and IRAs.
List of debts
In addition to your asset inventory, your estate plan should include a list of your debts including:
- Credit cards
- Personal loans
- Auto loans
Be sure to document account numbers and contact information for debtors so your estate administrator can work to settle your debts and close your accounts.
Many organizations carry free accidental life insurance benefits on their members, which your heirs may be able to collect. If you are a member of the VA, AARP, a professional association or college alumni group, include proof of membership among your estate planning documents.
When building an estate plan, the details of your life are very important. While it is difficult to think about dying, you can ensure the process is as smooth as possible for those you leave behind.