Have you ever had to move to a new house or a new city? Chances are you have.
When we move, we go through all our belongings, determining what to bring with us and what to give away or sell. This process of taking stock of our personal effects isn’t something specific to moving — it’s a common legacy planning tool as well.
Taking stock of our valuables and property for legacy planning involves a little more leg work than when preparing to move houses.
Here’s what you should do to assess your assets for your estate plan.
1. Create a clear list and plan
Taking stock of your valuables and property when planning your estate can quickly become confusing and overwhelming.
Break your items out into categories and tackle each one at a time.
Make a list of items by category. Within that list, decide what to donate, dedicate to specific people, sell, or auction off.
Once you have this list and know what you wish to do with each item, you can start tackling the description, the prices of each item, and who will get what.
2. Find the value of items
Not every item you own should be given to your loved ones. Consider the sentimental, practical, or monetary value of your property.
Understanding the monetary value of items will ultimately help you decide on who gets what.
When it comes to your property’s financial value, make sure you get the value of key items you plan on leaving for specific people. These items include:
- Antiques (rugs, art, decorations, furniture, etc.)
- Collections (baseball cards, coins, stamps, etc.)
- Gold or silver
Look for specialists and experts to help you find the value of each item and include this in its description.
Be prepared for anything when valuing items — antiques don’t always hold their value in the way you may expect. A coin may be old, but it doesn’t make it a collectible, and the only value could be its silver content or the overall collection value.
3. Decide on who will get what, and ask yourself why
Create a comprehensive list of who will get what. If possible, label the items or upload photos with the descriptions into any documentation.
Have discussions with your family and friends beforehand about who you plan to give specific items to and make sure there’s no ill-will. Asking yourself why you’ve made these decisions could certainly help with the discussion. If the family dynamic doesn’t support this kind of openness, you can always keep your decisions private.
4. Share this plan with your loved ones… And your lawyer
It can be challenging to have those conversations with loved ones — the “what-if” conversations.
A big part of estate and legacy planning is making sure you have these conversations while you’re still able to have them. By sharing your plan with a team of friends and family, and including them in your decision-making process, there will be less chance of argument over items when you’re gone.
With Check-Out, you can easily invite friends and family into your process and plan. The best part is you can upload documents and photos, share them amongst each other, and save essential information that your loved ones will need when you’re gone.
Many of our members choose to gather their details in CheckOutPlan and share with their lawyers, accountants and planners, saving them time and money.
We also offer an effective process to take stock of all your valuables and property so that you know nothing’s been forgotten. Get started with your free trial today.