If you have worked your entire life, own a home and some property, and have life insurance and retirement plans, your estate is probably worth more than you would guess off the top of your head. Many people assume that if they don’t own multiple homes and have thousands of dollars in savings, they don’t have to worry about having a comprehensive Estate Plan. However, you probably have more in assets than you think, and you need a plan to ensure that your heirs get what you want them to have.
Assets and Liabilities in a Typical Estate
When people think of an “estate,” they often picture a Texas oil mansion or Downton Abbey. When writing your Will, however, your estate is simply the combination of everything you own. When calculating the value of your estate, you will make a list of the value of any of the following types of assets you have in your name:
- Real estate, including your home and any property you own
- Bank accounts, including checking, savings, money market, and CDs
- Personal property, such as furniture, clothing, jewelry, antiques, and art
- Cars and boats
- Livestock or farm equipment
- Business interests
- Investments such as stocks, bonds, and mutual funds
- Retirement accounts such as IRAs, 401(k)s, and annuities
- Life insurance policies
- Trusts of which you are a beneficiary
Adding up these kinds of assets will give you a good idea of the value of your estate. You will also have to subtract liabilities such as mortgages, credit card debt, and funeral expenses, but you might find that your assets still exceed what you initially thought your estate was worth.
Nothing Beats an Individual Review With an Estate Planning Attorney
You may have even more assets that you haven’t accounted for. When you meet with an estate planning attorney, they will help you identify all of your assets and liabilities and determine the best way to protect these assets from the cost of long-term care so that you can pass them on to the next generation. Estates of all sizes can benefit from a Will and Trusts. Reach out to the Estate Planning team at Ross & Shoalmire to learn more about how we can help you preserve your hard-earned assets.