Listing all assets in estate planning

Below I have posted a sample of the information we like to have when we do estate planning. Though we do not require the information it’s helpful to us. It’s helpful in different ways. Let’s discuss.

First, the dollar amounts are certainly not required but knowing the approximate estate size helps determine what plan is right for YOU.  Often clients do not think about the true size of their estate until they put it on paper. Often it adds up to more than they thought. That is, by the time you add your IRA, 401k, life insurance, and other things to your home equity and savings accounts the value can jump up!

Second, we can’t fully fund a trust if we don’t know about all your accounts.  Having the name, account number and address helps us to help you fund the trust!

Third, it’s a great help to your family, friends, loved ones and trustees later. That is, at your incapacity or death how do they know what assets exist? The only way they know is if they have a list. Where do they get a list? From YOU.

Here’s a sample of the questions we go over with you during the estate planning process.


1)      CASH AND SAVINGS (Please supply bank name, address and account number)

Checking Account                   $ ___________

Certificates of Deposit (CDs)  $ ___________

Credit Union                            $ ___________

Savings Account                      $ ___________

Money Market                         $ ___________

TOTAL CASH AND SAVINGS                                $ ______________


2)     MARKETABLE SECURITIES (Please include bank name, address and account number)

Stocks                                      $ ___________

Bonds                                      $ ___________

Mutual Funds                          $ ___________

Annuities                                 $ ___________

Gold and Silver                       $ ___________

TOTAL OF MARKET SECURITIES                       $ ______________


3)     REAL ESTATE  (Please list address, city and state)



i.   _______________________________           ______________________________________

ii.  _______________________________           ______________________________________

iii. _______________________________           ______________________________________

TOTAL EQUITY IN REAL ESTATE                      $ _______________



4)     FIXED AND OTHER ASSETS (Please supply additional information if available)


Business Interests                    $ ___________

Limited Partnerships               $ ___________

Notes Due                               $ ___________

TOTAL OF FIXED AND OTHER                           $ ________________


5)     RETIREMENT PLANS (Please bring bank name, address and account number)


IRA (Standard Deductible)      $ ___________

IRA (Roth IRA)                       $ ___________

Keogh                                      $ ___________

SEP                                         $ ___________

401k                                        $ ___________

403B                                        $ ___________

Profit Sharing Plan                  $ ___________

TSA                                         $ ___________

ESOP                                      $ ___________

PASOP                                    $ ___________

Deferred Compensation          $ ___________

Pension Plan                            $ ___________

TOTAL OF RETIREMENT PLANS                        $ ________________


6)     LIFE INSURANCE (Please list life insurance company and agent, if you know)


Face Value of Policy #1          $ ___________  (Term  or   Whole Life?)

Face Value of Policy #2          $ ___________  (Term  or   Whole Life?)

Face Value of Policy #3          $ ___________  (Term  or   Whole Life?)




7)      OTHER ASSETS (Cars, boats, collectibles, etc.)

$ ___________

$ ___________

TOTAL OF OTHER ASSETS                      $ ________________




GRAND TOTAL OF ALL ASSETS                        $ ________________

Retirement Plan Contributions in 2012

It’s that time of year… time to start planning for 2012. How will you fund your IRA, 401k, 403b, and other retirement plans in 2012? The rules are not substantially changed. Here is a brief summary to help you. Also, please remember each type of plan has different beneficiary rules so work with a qualified California estate planning attorney to make sure your beneficiary designations are right for you!

The maximum amount you can contribute to a traditional IRA or Roth IRA in 2012 remains at a $5,000 cap which is unchanged from 2011. The maximum catch-up contribution for those age 50 or older remains at $1,000.  You can contribute up to $17,000 into your 401k in 2012 with an additional $5,500 for those in the “catch-up” category (age 50 and older). For simple IRA’s you can contribute $11,500 in 2012 or up to $14,000 if 50 or older.  Of course the contributions limits are subject to how much income you make so bear that in mind.

Also, they have slightly raised the deduction income limits for IRAs but that won’t matter until tax time in April 2013 so I won’t bore you with that now.

Have a great day… and keep funding those retirement accounts!  -John

FDIC Insurance Basics

Currently the FDIC insurance limits have been raised to $250,000 per BANK (not per account). I will post the trust rules later in the week as they are a little different. Check out for the latest information about FDIC insurance. It’s a huge part of estate planning, trust and probate law so I am providing it here for my loyal readers.

FDIC Insurance Coverage Basics

The FDIC – short for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation – is an independent agency of the United States government. The FDIC protects depositors of insured banks located in the United States against the loss of their deposits if an insured bank fails.

Any person or entity can have FDIC insurance coverage in an insured bank. A person does not have to be a U.S. citizen or resident to have his or her deposits insured by the FDIC.

FDIC insurance is backed by the full faith and credit of the United States government. Since the FDIC began operations in 1934, no depositor has ever lost a penny of FDIC-insured deposits.

What does FDIC deposit insurance cover?

FDIC insurance covers all types of deposits received at an insured bank, including deposits in a checking account, negotiable order of withdrawal (NOW) account, savings account, money market deposit account (MMDA) or time deposit such as a certificate of deposit (CD).

FDIC insurance covers depositors’ accounts at each insured bank, dollar-for-dollar, including principal and any accrued interest through the date of the insured bank’s closing, up to the insurance limit.

The FDIC does not insure money invested in stocks, bonds, mutual funds, life insurance policies, annuities or municipal securities, even if these investments are purchased at an insured bank.

The FDIC does not insure safe deposit boxes or their contents.

The FDIC does not insure U.S. Treasury bills, bonds or notes, but these investments are backed by the full faith and credit of the United States government.

How much insurance coverage does the FDIC provide?

The standard deposit insurance amount is $250,000 per depositor, per insured bank, for each account ownership category.

The FDIC insures deposits that a person holds in one insured bank separately from any deposits that the person owns in another separately chartered insured bank. For example, if a person has a certificate of deposit at Bank A and has a certificateof deposit at Bank B, the accounts would each be insured separately up to $250,000. Funds deposited in separate branches of the same insured bank are not separately insured.

The FDIC provides separate insurance coverage for funds depositors may have in different categories of legal ownership. The FDIC refers to these different categories as “ownership categories.” This means that a bank customer who has multiple accounts may qualify for more than $250,000 in insurance coverage if the customer’s funds are deposited in different ownership categories and the requirements for each ownership category are met.

Ratings and Reviews

10.0John Bernard Palley
Wealth Counsel Member
2015 Best of the Best Badge