Skip to Content

Calculate the Value of Your Estate

As part of the estate planning process, it’s important to determine what you own and to calculate the value of your estate. By calculating your estate size, you can plan for the future and leave your loved ones better prepared.

Determine your estate size by taking the following four steps:

Step 1: Inventory Your Major Assets

Assets can include many items, such as the following:

  • Cash, including savings accounts and CDs
  • Stocks, bonds, mutual funds
  • Retirement accounts, such as 401(k)s or IRAs
  • Home(s), land and other real property
  • Life insurance policies
  • Tangible personal property, including automobiles, jewelry and antiques
  • Equity/ownership interest in a business like a sole proprietorship or partnership

Step 2: Determine How and With Whom Your Assets Are Owned

Ownership generally falls into three categories: solely owned, jointly owned with rights of survivorship, and tenancy in common. Owning an asset with your brother, for example, is different than owning an asset with your spouse. Also, married couples who live in community property states have additional record-keeping requirements.

If you are unsure how your assets are owned, review the title of each asset. This information can typically be found in the deed, title or account information. If you are still unsure, ask your attorney or financial advisor.

Step 3: Calculate Your Debts

Debts are subtracted from the value of your assets at your passing. Common debts include mortgages on a primary residence or vacation house, equity loans and credit card balances. Vehicle loans and other loans are also calculated here.

In addition, your estate itself will incur legal fees and other expenses that will reduce the amount of your estate subject to taxation.

Step 4: Total Up Gifts You’ve Made

Don’t forget the gifts you’ve already made to others. You are allowed to gift up to $14,000 (for 2016) per year per person without having to declare the gift or pay gift taxes. Gifts made during your lifetime in excess of this amount will reduce your estate tax exemption (currently $5.45 million).

Contact Us Today to Learn More

Contact Shelly McTighe-Rippengale at 858-292-9622 x107 or smcrip@ymca.org to learn more about donating assets as well as other giving options.

eBrochure Request Form

Please provide the following information to view the brochure.

A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to the YMCA of San Diego County a specific item, an amount of money, a gift contingent upon certain events or a percentage of your estate.

an individual or organization designated to receive benefits or funds under a will or other contract, such as an insurance policy, trust or retirement plan

Bequest Language

I, [name], of [city, state, ZIP], give, devise and bequeath to YMCA of San Diego County [written amount or percentage of the estate or description of property] for [purpose of gift or general] purposes.

able to be changed or cancelled

A revocable living trust is set up during your lifetime and can be revoked at any time before death. They allow assets held in the trust to pass directly to beneficiaries without probate court proceedings and can also reduce federal estate taxes.

cannot be changed or cancelled

tax on gifts generally paid by the person making the gift rather than the recipient

the original value of an asset, such as stock, before its appreciation or depreciation

the growth in value of an asset like stock or real estate since the original purchase

the price a willing buyer and willing seller can agree on

The person receiving the gift annuity payments.

the part of an estate left after debts, taxes and specific bequests have been paid

a written and properly witnessed legal change to a will

the person named in a will to manage the estate, collect the property, pay any debt, and distribute property according to the will

A donor advised fund is an account that you set up but which is managed by a nonprofit organization. You contribute to the account, which grows tax-free. You can recommend how much (and how often) you want to distribute money from that fund to the YMCA or other charities. You cannot direct the gifts.

An endowed gift can create a new endowment or add to an existing endowment. The principal of the endowment is invested and a portion of the principal’s earnings are used each year to support our mission.

Tax on the growth in value of an asset—such as real estate or stock—since its original purchase.

Securities, real estate, or any other property having a fair market value greater than its original purchase price.

Real estate can be a personal residence, vacation home, timeshare property, farm, commercial property or undeveloped land.

A charitable remainder trust provides you or other named individuals income each year for life or a period not exceeding 20 years from assets you give to the trust you create.

You give assets to a trust that pays our Association set payments for a number of years, which you choose. The longer the length of time, the better the gift tax savings to you. When the term is up, the remaining trust assets go to you, your family or other beneficiaries you select. This is an excellent way to transfer property to family members at a minimal cost.

You fund this type of trust with cash or appreciated assets—and receive an immediate federal income tax charitable deduction. You can also make additional gifts; each one also qualifies for a tax deduction. The trust pays you, each year, a variable amount based on a fixed percentage of the fair market value of the trust assets. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to the YMCA as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and receive an immediate federal income tax charitable deduction. Each year the trust pays you or another named individual the same dollar amount you choose at the start. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to the YMCA as a lump sum.

A beneficiary designation clearly identifies how specific assets will be distributed after your death.

A charitable gift annuity involves a simple contract between you and the YMCA where you agree to make a gift to the YMCA and we, in return, agree to pay you (and someone else, if you choose) a fixed amount each year for the rest of your life.

Personal Estate Planning Kit Request Form

Please provide the following information to view the materials for planning your estate.