Try these helpful tips to help organize!
Each month will feature a new set of tips with a different focus.
Home Inventory Tips - This is a list of items to think about when creating a home inventory.
- 1. While a video inventory will jog your memory as to what you own it generally will display each item too quickly to allow you to determine the details that an insurance company might want. A detailed photographic inventory is much better. Do not skimp on creating your inventory.
- 2. Capture details about each item such as the date that it was purchased and what the original cost was, the model and serial number and any unique information about the item such as memory and hard drive sizes on a computer and any optional interface cards that have been installed in it.
- 3. Determine who actually owns the item and track that and identify who the item should go to in the event of the death of the owner. You may be storing items for in-laws in your home or you may have borrowed something from a friend or neighbour and your Executor should be aware of this and the dispersal of the item if something happens to you.
- 4. In general you pay an insurance company for replacement cost insurance but if something is lost or stolen you may not be able to prove the value of the item and thus you will not receive a reimbursement for the full replacement cost. Keep a detailed listing of everything that you on in an off-site secure storage area. When a fire or other disaster destroys all your household contents ill you remember everything that you owned? Insurance companies generally pay out only 60% of the full value that you are insured for because the claimant cannot remember everything that they owned.
- 5. When listing all of the items in your home list the date that they were purchased and indicate the warranty duration. When something breaks many individuals cannot remember what the warranty period was and end up replacing the item with out of pocket cash when the item is still covered by warranty. If you extend a warranty, include those details.
- 6. When creating an inventory of your assets consider including your virtual assets. These include the location and number of your safe deposit box, your credit card numbers and their associated financial institutions' addresses, your investment brokers name and address as stock and mutual fund certificates are generally not issued and an executor may not be aware of them. Indicate where your Will is located, where your deeds are located, who you have life insurance with, your SIN number, etc, etc.
- 7. For any items in your home that you are storing, renting, leasing or borrowing, indicate who owns them, who the agreement is with and when the agreement expires (ie. The lease must be renewed or the item returned to you). If you have loaned something to a friend, neighbour or relative indicate their name, the agreed to return date and the address where the item is as well as a detailed description.
- 8. Where you have items that may have authentication documents, scan or photograph them and include them in your inventory and associate them directly with a photograph of the item to avoid confusion.
- 9. When photographing an item attempt to include any unique markings such as scratches, dents or serial numbers so that if an item is stolen the police can identify it uniquely as yours
- 10. Consider etching an identifying number on all of your items so that they can be uniquely identified if stolen,
Tips provided by Joe Hiscott, Personal Asset Tracking Inc.
Check back next month for more useful tips!