retirement

How Large Is Your Estate?

Our worksheet will help you identify your assets and liabilities, and sort out who owns what.

Although you don't have to pay any federal estate taxes until your taxable estate exceeds $5.43 million (the limit for 2015), you might be surprised by all the things the government counts in getting there. In addition, 15 states and the District of Columbia have their own estate taxes, and most kick in at a much lower level.

 

In the worksheet below, the ownership column is included because how you own property is pivotal to how much of its value will be included in your estate when you die. In the "value" column, include the following:

  • The full value of property of which you are the sole owner

  • Half the value of property you own jointly with your spouse with right of survivorship

  • Your share of property owned with others

  • Half the value of community property if you live in a community-property state

Also include the value of the proceeds of an insurance policy on your life if you own the policy, your vested interest in pension and profit-sharing plans, and the value of property in revocable trusts.

ASSETSVALUEWHO OWNS IT
Cash in checking, savings, money-market accounts  
Stocks  
Bonds  
Mutual funds  
Other investments  
Real estate  
Personal property (including furniture, cars, clothing, etc.)  
Art, antiques, collectibles  
Proceeds of life insurance policies you own on your life  
Pension and profit-sharing benefits, IRAs, etc.  
Business interests  
Money owed to you  
Other  
TOTAL ASSETS  
LIABILITIES  
Mortgages  
Loans and notes  
Taxes  
Consumer debt  
Other  
TOTAL LIABILITIES  

NET ESTATE (total assets minus total liabilities):

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