Quick-Start Guide to Taking Stock of Your Possessions during Estate Planning
By Zachary Mushkatel on June 5, 2013
If you are considering creating or modifying an estate plan in Arizona, one of the first steps in the process is to compile an inventory of your possessions. Only by knowing what your estate contains will you know what you have available to distribute to the people or charities of your choice and avoid litigation.
When inventorying assets, include jointly-owned assets, and assign a value to each asset. You may need the assistance of an appraiser to determine the value of some assets such as real estate and collectibles.
Some of the asset categories you may need to consider when taking stock of your estate’s property include:
- Real estate, including your home and other buildings or land
- Savings, including savings accounts, certificates of deposit (CDs), and money market accounts
- Investments, including stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and similar investment tools
- Retirement assets, like pensions, 401(k) savings, IRAs, and other assets
- Life insurance policies and annuities
- Ownership interests in businesses
- Motor vehicles, including personal vehicles, business vehicles, boats, vehicles used in motor sports, and similar vehicles
- Family heirlooms such as jewelry, artwork, and furniture
- Collectibles including art and antiques
- Other property you may own and plan to include in your estate or leave to particular individuals.
Being aware of your assets before you speak to an estate planning attorney can help you begin to plan what you wish to do with your possessions. The skilled Surprise, Arizona estate planning attorneys at Mushkatel, Robbins & Becker, PLLC, can help you create an estate plan for an estate of any size. Contact us today to learn more.
Zachary Mushkatel is an Arizona native who earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Arizona in 2001 and his law degree from the University of Minnesota Law School in 2004. After serving as a public defender, he entered into private practice and, ultimately, joined forces with Mathis Becker to form the law firm known today as Mushkatel, Robbins & Becker, PLLC. In addition to criminal law, Mushkatel practices civil litigation, with a focus on estate litigation and personal injury cases. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce and Sun Valley Lodge, and he is an executive officer and member of the Board of Directors for the West Maricopa County Bar Association.