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8 assets you should include in your will

Did you know that around 70 percent of people in the United States don't have a will? Some no doubt feel like they're too young, even though accidents can take a life at any age. Others feel like they don't have enough assets, even though any amount of assets is enough to make sure they're transferred properly.

If you're thinking of drafting a will, here are eight things it's critical to include:

1. Real estate. This includes homes, vacation homes, condos, and open land.

2. Investments. These could be mutual funds, stocks, or bonds.

3. Any cash on hand in savings and checking accounts.

4. Insurance policies. This could include a life insurance policy, though be sure you know how having a beneficiary named in the policy can impact how it is handled with your will.

5. Retirement plans. A retirement plan or pension plan can be one of the biggest assets you own.

6. Vehicles. This could include boats, cars, motorcycles, and other vehicles.

7. Home furnishings. You don't often think of their value, but you have a lot invested in the furniture for your home.

8. Artwork, jewelry and collectible items. Values here vary widely, but could be significant.

Essentially, you just want to take stock of your personal property and really consider the value. It's easy to think of passing your home on to your kids or to understand the monetary value of your investment portfolio, but don't underestimate the value of things you use every day, like cars and household goods.

Drafting a will doesn't necessarily have to be complicated, but it's crucial to know how to do it properly so that it holds up after you pass away.

Source: The Balance, "Are You One of the 70% of Americans Without a Will?," Deborah Fowles, accessed May 17, 2017

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