If you are required to execute someone’s estate, one of your first tasks after their death is to compile an inventory of assets. Getting it right is crucial, not least because you need to verify that it is true when you present it to the court.
You have three months from the date you take on the role of the personal representative to file the inventory. It can take time to get the information you need, so be sure to start as soon as possible.
What must you include in an inventory of assets?
The full title of the document is an Inventory, appraisement and list of claims. Let’s break that down.
- Inventory: The assets of the deceased person’s estate and whether they are separate or community property.
- Appraisement: The value of those items might not be clear. While a million in the bank is worth $1 million, you may need help to price things such as real estate. You need to put the fair market value on the date of the deceased’s death, not what they are worth now.
- List of claims: Anything the deceased person had a claim on or to be safe might have had a claim on. For instance, if they died in the middle of seeking compensation for car crash injuries, you should mention that. If they had a mechanics lien on a property, you should include that.
Certain assets will not pass through probate, and you do not need to list these in the inventory. These include anything that has a beneficiary designation, such as a retirement plan of life insurance as well as property held in trust. Debts the deceased owed are also kept separate from the inventory. Acting as a personal representative is challenging and will be easier with appropriate help.