Planning what to leave

By Melissa Broad, Contributing Writer.

Think about the value of your estate and who will get what. Define the basics of your plan before visiting a lawyer or perhaps discuss your will with your loved ones. It’s easier than it sounds!

 

1. Create a list of who you would like to benefit from your estate – they are called your beneficiaries. You might want to include friends, charities, your husband/wife/partner, children or other family members.

 

2. Define your assets and write down their values – approximately what are they worth? Start with those that are easiest to predict such as your savings and valuable objects, like family heirlooms and jewelry. Then proceed with assets that have changing values, which are slightly more difficult to estimate, such as:

 

  • Pension (note: whether or not you can include your pension will depend on the regulations of your fund itself – make a point to double check this)

  • Your business, if you own one

  • Shares, bonds, funds and other stock market investments

  • Real estate  – your home, along with any investment properties or land you own. Don’t forget to factor in the amount of any debts against your property as well.

 

3. Finally, think about any sentimental items you want to give to particular individuals.

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