Given the current economic situation, many New Year’s resolutions may be focused on improving financial health and less on physical health.
The American Society of Appraisers (ASA) suggests everyone conduct a full assessment of their assets.
A personal financial review consists of listing all assets, including the value of a home, car, bank account, retirement account, stocks and bonds. Many people forget that their personal assets also include the contents of their homes: artwork, antiques, jewelry and collectibles.
The value of those items need to be considered for estate planning purposes to ensure that they are properly covered by their homeowners or renters insurance.
ASA offers these tips for homeowners or renters to get started reviewing their personal assets.
• Documentation. Take an inventory of the items in your house. Open cabinets and closets and document the contents with video or photos. Make lists of what you own, where you got each item and keep receipts.
• Make note of potentially valuable items. Make a list of items that you think might be especially valuable, including family heirlooms, artwork and antique furniture.
• Get an appraisal of valuable items. If you think you have valuable items and want to know more about their value, consult an accredited appraiser. Many appraisers will come into the home and provide a basic consultation. A full appraisal will tell you about the history of the item, its current value, and give information about the marketplace for the item.
• Review your homeowners or renters policies. These policies have a coverage amount for the contents of a home.
Do a rough calculation of the value of the contents of your home if you had to replace everything. Owning a few pieces or fine art may mean that basic coverage is less than adequate for the value of your contents.