Belongings — End of Life Planning

list-your-belongings

Virtually all estate planning documents include assets. But those are often too expensive or complicated. Myend believes that there is a lot of meaning in offering simpler and when possible free services. After all, we are not yet another estate planning service, but a holistic end of life planning service. But before we dive into that, let’s answer two important questions: what does belongings mean and what is an asset?

What does belongings mean?

Simply put, your belongings are the things you own. They include everything from clothing, to furniture, to cars and jewelry. However, a belonging does not have to always have too much value. An example of such belonging is your toothbrush, which is something you need for brushing your teeth everyday.

What is an asset?

Assets are things that have value. Assets can be money, tools, property, or anything else that has value to it. The term assets is often used in the financial world. 

The difference between belongings and assets is that assets tend to have greater value than belongings. While assets are usually used for investment purposes (and also sometimes for consumption), belongings often serve a different function. They’re simply what you use on a daily basis to keep yourself comfortable and functioning. That’s why belongings are often absent from last wills unlike assets who are always present.

End of Life Planning

Most end of life services offer a last will and testament where you can include your assets. This way though, you may end up overlooking your more trivial or mundane objects. What about that old guitar in the attic? It’s not worth much but your favorite cousin may love it as a gift. At the same time, if you start adding many everyday belongings to your last will, the probate process may take forever.

However, with Myend you can make the best of two worlds. For a non legally binding solution that includes your belongings, you can use Myend’s e-will. However, for a legally binding option that focuses on your assets, we offer the more traditional last will.

Myend’s Belongings Feature

When creating your e-will, you will have to think about what you’re leaving behind. We know this can feel like a big challenge. That’s why we made this process a lot easier with the Belongings feature in Myend.

Use your mobile phone to take pictures of the belongings you would like to leave to others. Just walk around your home, snap a pic of your favorite items and add them to your list. In that way, you have an overview of all the things you own and it will be easy to discover if you’ve forgotten anything. And you can always add something later, at any time.

So what should you share?

In short: anything you like. Anything you can think of can have a place in your Belongings list. You can also assign categories to your items. The categories we currently have are:

  • Antiques
  • Appliances
  • Art
  • Art objects
  • Boat
  • Books
  • Car
  • Craft materials
  • Crystal
  • Cutlery
  • Electronics
  • Figurines
  • Furniture
  • Hobbies
  • Jewelry
  • Movies
  • Music
  • Musical instruments
  • Paintings
  • Pets
  • Photography
  • Plants
  • Toys
  • Video Console / Games and
  • Other

To give you an example: Maybe you’ve bought a new coat and your sister says she adores it – in one second you add it to your Myend list and assign it to her

It is advised to put real estate, valuable art and money (including investments) in a legally binding last will and testament. Myend’s e-will is not legally binding yet. If you are looking for a legal document you should activate your last will, a Myend premium feature. Simply upgrade your account and all your existing belongings will be automatically added to your last will as assets.

What happens with your belongings?

After you are gone, your Legacy Contact gets access to your Myend account and will be able to determine when and how your belongings will be divided among your beneficiaries. If you leave clear instructions to your Legacy Contacts, it will help them in carrying out your final wishes.

If you have made a last will instead, the process to distribute your assets is set in stone even further. Specifically, the executor of your last will is going to give each asset to the beneficiary you have chosen. This, of course, takes place in accordance with state and federal laws and regulations.

Final Thoughts

If you’re like most people, you probably don’t want your belongings to go to waste after you pass away. You may even have specific things in mind for certain people or charities. The problem starts if there’s no e-will or last will in place. It can then be really hard for your friends and family to figure out what they should do with your belongings (or assets). In other words, all the stuff that makes up your life and how your loved ones should do it.

That’s why we recommend adding your belongings to your Myend account. You can then use them to make your e-will or add them as automatically as assets to your last will.  It’s a simple process, and just takes a few moments of your time. Finally, if you’re interested in a free of charge end of life planning checklist we recommend you use ours – see above!

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Disclaimer

Myend is not a law firm, it does not engage in the practice of law, and it does not render any official legal advice. Therefore, you are hereby advised to seek your own legal counsel regarding any legal issues. Myend’s articles are meant to be taken as suggestions and therefore Myend carries no responsibility for the user’s actions.

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