When you create an estate plan in Hoffman Estates or throughout Illinois your Hoffman Estates attorneys should talk to you about creating an asset checklist. As part of your estate plan, whether in Hoffman Estates, Schaumburg or throughout the Chicagoland area, it is important to identify your assets as part of your estate plan to assist your agents, executors, and attorneys in ensuring your estate planning goals are met.
Why do I need to identify my assets? First, your estate planning attorneys will need to know what assets you have in order to create an effective and proper estate plan. An in-depth understanding of your assets before an estate plan is created is vital to ensuring that the proper estate planning tools are used and the plan created will work for you.
Second, an asset checklist will assist your agents, executors, trustees and other individuals administer the terms of your estate plan and make sure that no assets are forgotten, misplaced, or abandoned. One of the most frequent areas our clients forget about or miss are digital assets. Digital assets such as cryptocurrency, digital photo libraries, digital music or media libraries and social media accounts are notoriously difficult to manage following the account holders death or disability. While Illinois has enacted legislation to provide better access to digital accounts that legislation only assists individuals who are aware of the accounts to begin with. Often times family members simply do not know that a loved one has a cryptocurrency account or digital wallet and they may not know their loved one had social media accounts. If your agent does not know you have the account they may completely miss this asset, especially when the account or library is not referenced anywhere else. Missing these assets can lead to incomplete probate, complications with liability settlements, potential complications with claims statute of limitations, and with potential loss of the asset altogether. As Hoffman Estates attorneys we recommend creating an asset checklist.
What should you include in your checklist? There is no formal or template however your asset checklist should include the following information:
- Account information including the financial institutions and type of account
- if your listing is going to be secured in a secure area such as a safety deposit box than a listing of account numbers is also beneficial
- a listing of any digital accounts you may have including user names and passwords (if your list will be kept in a secure location)
- a listing of login information for your accounts
- a listing of personal collections that may not have obvious value (i.e. particularly valuable coins, photographs, art, music or other assets that may not necessarily be identified by another individual as valuable)
- any other pertinent information regarding your assets that you want others to know
Our Hoffman Estates attorneys work closely with clients in developing comprehensive estate plans. Contact our office today to set up an appointment with our Hoffman Estates estate planning attorneys to discuss how you can create a cost effective estate plan.