How to Inventory Assets in Your Will

Taking inventory of your assets is an unavoidable step in writing a will. Using a form is the easiest way to go about accounting for what you have, but including all of your assets in your will is another matter altogether. Here’s one organized approach to inventory assets in your will:

Categorize Assets

Grouping assets together is the easiest way to inventory assets in your will. You can allocate each provision of your will dealing with asset distribution, based on the category you’re addressing. Here’s a mini-checklist of some of the assets you may need to inventory:

  • Bank account, money market accounts and CDs
  • Stocks and other brokerage accounts
  • Retirement accounts
  • Personal possessions, such as jewelry and artwork
  • Household furnishings
  • Business interests
  • Intellectual property, such as patent, copyrights and royalties
  • Primary residence and other real estate
  • Digital assets

You can write a statement such as, "I give, devise and bequeath to _____, the principal and interest of all the bank accounts I own at the time of my death, including, but not limited to _________. "

Large value estates will require several pages to inventory assets and there are too many ways to make mistakes. An estate lawyer is a necessity in those cases to protect the inheritance being passed on to the next generation.

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