You have more assets than you think
Many people accumulate various assets during their lifetime, such as bank accounts, insurance policies, real estate, stocks, options, retirement plans, pension funds, and investment portfolios. Not to mention digital wallets and cryptocurrencies.
In most cases, people accumulate these assets without any formal plan, and it’s normal – we have kids, and we decide that we must take out that long-overdue life insurance, we start investing in stocks through online trading platforms, we move to work abroad and open a new bank account there, plus a local pension fund, we buy a new apartment, we open a dedicated savings account.
One day, you realize that you’ve accumulated many assets and you are overwhelmed by tracking and managing them. This is the “aha” moment when you realize that you can’t continue ad-hoc any more and you need help. Welcome your new best friend – your asset management plan.
What, exactly, is an asset management plan?
Asset management plans have several features. The most basic is that it provides an easy way to catalog and track your assets. If you don’t have an easy and convenient way to track your assets, it is difficult to manage them.
Such cataloging is usually achieved through either digital vaults or digital inheritance services. Asset management services also provide cataloging capabilities, but they are usually restricted to the types of assets operated by the asset management service, for example, company stocks. In contrast, digital vaults and digital inheritance services provide secure cataloging for all asset types.
Beyond keeping your assets organized and in check
After you’ve solved the problem of cataloging and tracking your assets, the next consideration is how to increase the value of your assets and potentially restructure them. Of course, this applies to only a small subset of them. For example, you can catalog and track your life insurance, but it is difficult to increase its value – unless you simply buy a new insurance policy for a larger value.
An example of restructuring and increasing the value of an asset is to convert part of your available cash in the bank into an investment portfolio managed by an asset management company so that it appreciates in value by more than the bank interest.
Asset protection as an integral part of your asset management plan
In addition to cataloging, restructuring, and increasing the value of your assets, your asset management plan must include asset protection.
The primary reason is that many of the companies which store your assets, such as insurance policies, bank accounts, and stock portfolios, don’t have the legal requirement to inform your family members about your assets should anything happen to you.
As a result, chances are high that your loved ones will simply not inherit your assets. Remember that it was difficult even for you to track all your assets! What about your family members? Especially if you have elderly parents, young children or siblings living abroad, you should definitely consider adding asset protection to your asset management plan.
The two most popular means of asset protection are digital inheritance services and digital vaults.
Digital inheritance services are the better option, as in addition to the ability to securely catalog and track your assets, they offer the following capabilities:
- You can designate beneficiaries. These are usually your family members.
- You can indicate whether the beneficiaries should be informed immediately or only if something happens to you. This allows you, for example, to inform your partner immediately but to inform extended family members only if something happens to you (and to inform them only about their assigned assets).
- Digital inheritance services can detect when something unforeseen has happened to the user. This is usually achieved through email reminders and confirmations, as well as integration with social platforms selected by the users.
- Digital inheritance services can inform the family members about the designated assets. This is probably the most important difference. Your family members don’t need to remember any access links or other information. Digital inheritance services provide notification to your family members, usually through email, phone, and regular post, with relevant information about the assets, which enables the beneficiaries to find and claim them.
- Digital inheritance services also provide various legal packages to support the beneficiaries in the process of claiming.
When is the right time for an asset management plan?
Most people these days don’t realize how many assets they possess. After the immediate reaction of “I don’t have so many assets,” you start remembering that additional pension fund you had while you were an expat, the additional insurance policy you bought, the digital wallet and company stocks you own.
And those are on top of the bank accounts and real estate. If you are overwhelmed by trying to track and manage your assets, now is the time to act.