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Does a Will Need to List Value of Assets?

Attorney Thomas B. Burton answers a reader question about whether a Will must list the value of each specific asset or whether it can refer generally to all property owned by the person making the Will.

Transcript of Video: Does a Will Need to List Value of Assets?

Today's question comes from Green Bay Wisconsin and the reader asks the following does a will need to list value of assets or can it say decrease all assets to X person. Short answer you don't have to leave the value the assets you don't have to state the value of the assets in the will at all it can just decrease in general terms all my assets to X person as your question suggests, in fact.

I don't recommend putting the value of your assets in the will namely because asset values are changing often in the case of some things like marketable securities stocks bonds, they can change every day and with real estate it can change depending on marketing conditions month to month year to year, so if you make your will out today 10 years from now your brokerage account that today is worth a hundred thousand dollars, it might be worth two hundred thousand dollars if the market went up or it could be worth fifty or less if the market went down so in general.

I don't put asset values in the will in fact I often recommend using broad language, so it can be the most flexible to cover situations you may not currently have for example you today may not own a cabin but let's say your parents plan to leave you a half interest in a cabin someday well 10 years from now they may have passed and you own that cabin but today when you met with the lawyer you didn't mention it because it's not your asset well if the will is drafted broadly and properly it can still include the cabin in your assets and make sure it gets to your intended airs.

Great question and thank you for asking.

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Transcript and captions provided for ease of access for the hearing impaired.

For questions about this topic, or to suggest a topic for a future blog post, please contact my office.

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