With the busy holiday season, you probably did not have much time to think about finances. But as you kick off the New Year, take some time to compile or update your personal financial statement and make a list of important documents.

This inventory can serve as a snapshot of your financial situation and can make your life easier when it comes to performing such standard financial tasks as preparing your tax return, planning your estate, calculating your net worth and applying for a loan.

What you include in your list depends on your personal situation, but here is a list of some common items to consider:

ASSETS

  • Investments including stocks, Treasury, municipal or commercial bonds, and mutual funds. Include the current market values and list the purchase price, number of units held, dividends and maturity dates.
  • Life insurance policies, annuities and pension plans.
  • Real estate. List the current value of all property you own, including your principal residence and any second homes, undeveloped land, rental property or commercial buildings you may have an interest in. Indicate where the deeds and title insurance policies can be found. If you are in partnerships, include names and addresses of your fellow investors.
  • Long-term royalties due to you.
  • Partnerships and trusts.
  • Interest in a closely-held business.
  • Savings, checking and other bank accounts, as well as savings bonds and Guaranteed Investment Certificates. List the bank, the account number, balance and any yield or maturity dates.
  • Automobiles, boats, recreational vehicles, campers, motorcycles and any collectibles.
  • Other personal property, such as jewellery, gems, precious metals, antiques and collectibles.

LIABILITIES

  • Short-term liabilities, including the amount owed on credit cards and instalment loans. List the accounts, numbers and balances.
  • Long-term liabilities, including the amount owed on mortgages and loans for college, cars, home improvement and other purposes.
  • Unpaid taxes.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

  • Safe deposit box. List the bank, the number of the box and the location of the key.
  • Estate planning essentials. Indicate the location of the original of your will and any additions to it, where copies can be found and the names of your executors or trustees. Include any burial plots you own.
  • Advisers. List the names and phone numbers of your accountant, attorney, securities broker and insurance agent.
  • Insurance policies, including coverage for your home, automobiles, life and medical insurance and any policies held for other property.
  • Tax returns. Indicate where you keep copies of past tax returns.

Important Reminder: Once the list is complete, store it safely. Make sure your loved ones know where to find it. Update it when necessary.