How Do I Calculate My Solo Net Worth?

Adding Up Assets and Subtracting Out Liabilities

The first step in assessing your need for an estate plan is to determine your net worth. Here is a basic guide to calculating your net worth. You'll need to print the chart for calculating net worth before you begin. If you're married or have a significant other, list the names of you and your spouse/partner at the top of the first two columns of the chart. If you're single, just list your name at the top of the first column. Also note that if an asset is actually titled in the name of your revocable living trust, then it should be listed in your column.

Add Up Values of Bank Accounts

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Take out copies of the most recent statements for all of your bank accounts, including checking, savings, money markets, and CDs. If you're married or have a significant other and the account is titled in one name only, list the entire value in the appropriate owner's column. If the account is titled in the joint names of you and your spouse/partner, list the value in the joint column. If you're single and the account is titled in your individual name, list the value in your column. If the account is titled jointly with you and/or your spouse/partner and someone other than your spouse/partner (such as a child or sibling), then just list the proportionate share of the account in your column or your spouse's/ partner's column.

Add Up Values of Investment Accounts

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Take out copies of the most recent statements for all of your investments accounts that aren't retirement plans. If you're married or have a significant other and the account is titled in one name only, list the entire value in the appropriate owner's column. If the account is titled in the joint names of you and your spouse/partner, list the value in the joint column. If you're single and the account is titled in your individual name, list the value in your column. If the account is titled jointly with you and/or your spouse/partner and someone other than your spouse/partner (such as a child or sibling), then just list the proportionate share of the account in your column or your spouse's/ partner's column.

Add Up Values of Stocks and Bonds

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If you and/or your spouse/partner own individual stock in a publicly traded company, estimate the value of the shares by looking up the current value per share on a website such as Yahoo! Finance. Check with whomever a publicly traded bond was purchased from to determine its estimated current value. For U.S. Savings Bonds, go to the Federal Reserve's website and enter the bond information to determine their current values. Once you've figured out the estimated values, enter the total values of all stocks and bonds in the appropriate columns of the chart by using the guidelines provided for bank and investment accounts.

Add Up Values of Pesonal Effects

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Personal effects, including jewelry, artwork, antiques, cars, and boats, can be really tricky to value without a formal appraisal. For cars and boats, go to a website such as NADA Guides to estimate their values. For jewelry and the like, use your best judgment by taking what was paid for each item and then factoring in wear and tear. For valuable antiques, do an internet search for a particular item to see if anyone is buying and selling it online. Once you've figured out estimated values, enter the total values of all personal effects in the appropriate columns of the chart by using the guidelines provided for bank and investment accounts, then list the total of all outstanding loans against these items in the "Liabilities" column.

Add Up Values of Life Insurance

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Take out your life insurance policies and look at the names of the owner and insured and the face value of each policy. If the policy isn't a term policy, also take out a recent statement and look at its current net cash value. Add the total face value of all policies owned in your name and on your life to your column and the total face value of all owned in your spouse's/partner's name and in his or her life in your spouse's/partner's column. Add the total net cash values of all policies owned by you on someone else's life to your column and the total cash values of all policies owned by your spouse/partner on someone else's life to their column.

Add Up Values of Retirement Accounts

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Take out copies of the most recent statements for all of your investments accounts that are held in retirement plans, such as IRAs and 401ks. List the total values of all retirement accounts for your benefit in your column and all retirement accounts for your spouse's/partner's benefit in their column.

Add Up Values of Sole Proprietorship Interests

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In general, assets, owned as a sole proprietor will be included in other columns, such as bank accounts or personal effects. If, however, you or your spouse/partner has a nontangible asset that is in your or your spouse's/partner's sole name and is a business interest, such as a valuable website that could be sold to a third party, then list the estimated value in the appropriate column.

Add Up Values of Partnership and LLC Interests

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Partnership and LLC interests are sometimes difficult to value without a formal business appraisal. In general, however, you should be able to estimate the total value of the business by adding up its current assets and subtracting out its liabilities. Once you have this number, multiply your or your spouse's/partner's partnership or membership percentage by the number and add the value to the appropriate column of the chart by using the guidelines provided for bank and investment accounts.

Add Up Values of Closely Held Stock

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Closely held stock can also difficult to value without a formal business appraisal. As with partnerships and LLCs, however, you should be able to estimate the current value of the corporation by adding up the values of its assets and subtracting out its liabilities. Once you've figured out this number, multiply your or your spouse's/partner's percentage of stock ownership by the number and add the value to the appropriate column of the chart by using the guidelines provided for bank and investment accounts.

Add Up Monies Owed to You

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If you and/or your spouse/partner have loaned money to a person or business and taken back a written promissory note or mortgage, then list the current balance owed to you and/or your spouse/partner in the appropriate columns of the chart by using the guidelines provided for bank and investment accounts.

Add Up Values of Oil, Gas and Mineral Rights

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Oil, gas and mineral rights can also be difficult to value without a formal appraisal. Start by taking a look at any statements received from these interests, or add up the income received from these interests over the past year. If the interest was inherited, check with family members to see if they can give you an estimated value. Once you've figured out a value, add it to the appropriate column of the chart by using the guidelines provided for bank and investment accounts.

Add Up Values of Real Estate

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Real estate can also be difficult to value without a formal appraisal. Check out websites such as zillow.com to get an estimate of the fair market value, or check local listings in your newspaper for similar properties that have been sold in the area. Another resource is the property tax bill which will give the city or county's current estimate of the value of the property. Once you've figured out a value, add it to the appropriate column of the chart by using the guidelines provided for bank and investment accounts and list the total balances of all of your mortgages in the "Liabilities" column.

Calculate Your Net Worth

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Now that you've filled out the chart, add up all of the numbers in each column. Next, take the totals you've calculated in your column, your spouse's/partner's column, and the joint column and add these numbers together. Next, take this combined total and subtract from it the total number listed in the "Liabilities" column. Finally, take this number and list it on the line marked "Net Worth." And that's it, you've officially calculated what you and/or your spouse/partner are currently worth.