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It's important to take full inventory of personal property

When making estate planning preparations, one of the best ways for Tennessee residents to approach the issue is to place oneself in the shoes of the loved ones who will be tasked with ironing out the details of the estate when the time comes. By looking at matters from that perspective, the need to have a clear and thorough estate plan becomes obvious. One of the most important aspects of estate planning is to create and regularly update a comprehensive list of personal property and assets. After all, it is impossible to dictate the division of assets if it those items of value are not clearly specified.

Most people have no trouble outlining their most valuable assets, such as their home, investment accounts and insurance policies. However, there are many other types of assets that should also be considered. This includes things like old pensions from previous jobs, bonds that have been filed away in a cabinet for many years and even college savings plans. Most people also amass a number of items of personal property that they wish to pass down to loved ones, and those items should also be listed.

Many people choose to create a master list of all of their assets, along with information regarding where the asset can be located and any related paperwork, account numbers, passwords and so on. Having a comprehensive list does more than just provide heirs with a road map for locating assets. It also provides peace of mind that there is nothing being overlooked or left out of the process.

Just as important as compiling this list is taking the time to regularly update the information contained in the document. Over time, new assets and items of personal property are acquired, while others are sold or lost. Tennessee residents should review this part of their estate plan annually, to make sure that the list is accurate and up to date. When the time comes for loved ones to handle the distribution of assets, they will most certainly appreciate the time and effort put toward making that process as easy as possible.

Source:, "7 Things Your Estate Planner Wants You to Know Before You Die", Jamie Wiebe, Aug. 29, 2016

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