By Betty Berry, Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2010  Q: During our vacation my husband lost his wallet, and I’m trying to replace the contents. This is a difficult job because he has some memory loss and doesn’t remember everything that he carried. Please tell others to inventory what they carry with them.

A: This is a difficult job whether one has memory loss or not. I’m sure most of us could not accurately list the contents of our wallets.

An inventory can serve two purposes: It will provide an accurate record of your wallet’s contents and give you an opportunity to “weed out” what you carry.

Experts advise that a thinner wallet is safer as potential thieves would have less information and therefore less opportunity to defraud.

To do your inventory set aside a block of time and with pen and paper sit at a desk or table and empty your wallet. Review each item to determine if it is something you need to carry with you or should be put away for safekeeping.

Your Social Security card, for example, should not be carried with you. The Social Security Administration recommends it be placed in safekeeping and carried only when you need to present it.

List all items to be carried in your wallet on the inventory sheet. Your inventory information should include the identity of the item (XYZ credit card/California driver’s license), the account or registration number, name of person it is registered to, expiration date if applicable and number to contact to report its loss. Date the list and file it with your important papers.

Always update your inventory list when you change any of the contents of your wallet.

If you should ever lose your wallet or have it stolen, you will find that the short amount of time it took to do the inventory was well worth it.

Q: I have just moved to California from the East Coast and want to know if such a move makes it necessary to have a new will prepared. If a new will is not needed, in which state would my executor present my existing will for probate?

A: Since relocation is very common nowadays, your question might be on the minds of many others.

You do not need to execute a new will because of your move from one state to another.

A written will made outside California is valid in California if it complied with the laws of the state in which it was executed.

You should review your will periodically to ensure it reflects your current wishes. Addition or deletion of assets as well as family changes such as marriage, death, divorce or adoption should serve as reminders to review your legal papers and if necessary update them to reflect your current wishes.

Your executor must present your will for probate in the jurisdiction (county and state) in which you were a resident at the time of your death. If your estate includes real property located in other jurisdictions, additional probate will be required in those jurisdictions for the purpose of proving title and for protection of local creditors at those locations.


Friday 1:30-3 p.m. Will You Pass Your Next Driving Test? Seminar: Goebel Senior Adult Center, 1385 E. Janss Road, Thousand Oaks. For reservations, call 381-2744.

Tuesday 7-8:30 p.m. Seminar: Home Modification and Handy Dandy Gadgets; Senior Concerns Day Center, 401 Hodencamp Road, Thousand Oaks. For reservations, call 497-0189.

— Betty Berry is a senior advocate for Senior Concerns. The advocates are at the Goebel Senior Adult Center, 1385 E. Janss Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91362; call 495-6250 or e-mail (please include your telephone number). You are invited to submit questions on senior issues.

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