Digital Assets

Digital Assets is the term that covers our “online,” electronic, computerized life, now becoming an integral part of our personal affairs.  It includes our many accounts, passwords, electronic financial records, all constituting an”on-line life” with records of accounts for business and employment, financial institutions, commercial accounts, medical records and various special interests in media, organizations, etc.

The Estate Documents Organizer provides a list to record the user and password information, as well as the security questions so that appointed persons will be able to manage and close accounts – and prevent loss of asset information.   With online income and expense records listed in the Notebook, financial obligations can be managed efficiently to save enormous research time and potential costs to reconstruct missing information.


Family and Pets

Family information, with the addition of three to four living generations and extended families due to remarriage, partnerships and other arrangements, can become complicated.   Who can forget how dear pets are in any family life.  It is important to consider all these loved ones in any estate planning with list of names, relationships, care records and, perhaps most importantly, beneficiary records.  For example, in addition to a Will, the IRA account, the insurance policy and other financial accounts must have a beneficiary-designation forms on file with the bank, brokerage, or other custodian that holds the account – and a COPY IN YOUR RECORDS.

The Estate Documents Organizer is a comprehensive checklist for collecting these important documents and holding them in a location that is easily accessible.  It may take some time to get the records set up correctly, but there can be financial/tax consequences if the forms are missing or incomplete.


House and Property

Owning a house or other property requires legal protection and many legal records – deed, mortgage, equity line of credit, insurance coverage, perhaps a living trust.  These assets may be the basis of our “estate” and Will planning, and accurate and accessible records with the latest legal professional expertise are MUSTs in any estate plan.

The Estate Documents Organizer has a location to record this vital information so that the records with various account holders, as well insurance companies, is just a phone call away.  There is also a suggested Safe Deposit Box List for document storage for original and official papers.


Investments

Investment records may include multiple accounts, investment houses, managers, varieties of funds and self-managed plans.  The many categories include: stocks, bonds, mutual funds, IRA, Roth IRA, pensions, 401K plans, annuities, properties, partnerships, etc.  From simple to complex, investment records with account numbers and beneficiary information need to be current and in personal files, as well as with financial advisors/brokers, whose names should be accessible to family.

The Estate Documents Organizer subject tabs are a way to sort and file information related to this important aspect of personal estate records, which will also serve to assist professionals in estate analysis and planning for the future.


Legal Documents

The list of legal documents begins with a birth certificate and continues with many others: Social Security, Passport, Veteran records, A Revocable Living Trust, Will, Durable General Power of Attorney, Healthcare Power of Attorney, Advance Health Care Directive and any other documents recommended by professionals. It is important that professionals in each area be consulted for estate and tax planning and that medical records be complete and filed with appropriate care managers - doctors, hospitals, etc.

The Estate Documents Organizer offers a checklist of these various documents and forms to ensure that all areas are addressed with a "To Do" list for any overlooked aspect of estate planning and the important record of where documents are located.


Medical

Medical records, including primary care physician and hospital, should be in document information.  An Advance Health Care Directive original should be in a physician’s office with a copy in personal records.  Also, other physicians, dentists, etc. can be listed in the Organizer for easy access in case of special circumstances.  Insurance policies are recorded under Insurance – for health, life, long-term care, etc.

The Estate Documents Organizer also has a form for listing potential healthcare requirements such as home care and other aspects of assisted living.


Vehicles

There are many ways to “own” vehicles – outright, bank loan, lease.  It is important to have records for processing payments and, ultimately, the transfer of ownership through the Department of Motor Vehicles.   Also, accurate insurance coverage must be listed.

The Estate Documents Organizer contains a form to list various types of vehicles and the ownership status,  insurance coverage, and licensing records.

© 2010 Julie Jones, Consulting Services.