Question 1: What is an estate inventory?
After a person dies, the personal representative, also known as an executor, has responsibility to perform specific tasks in order to settle all of the deceased person’s affairs. One of these tasks is to distribute all the property the deceased person owned. Before an executor can do this, however, he or she has to find out exactly what is in the estate. (The estate is simply the collection of property left behind by a deceased person.) The estate inventory is a comprehensive list of all the assets and obligations the deceased person had.
Question 2: How do I create an estate inventory?
All states have their own requirements when it comes to estate inventories, though they are all very similar. In a probate proceeding, the executor lists all the estate property by category, such as real estate, personal property, and debts. You also have to list the value of the property. If you don’t know the value you’ll have to use estimates or obtain appraisals. In some situations you may be able to submit the inventory after you have sold some of the estate property.
Question 3: Are there timelines involved with estate inventories?
Absolutely. Even though probate court often takes a long time, state probate laws impose specific time frames that you must meet as an executor. You should consult with an experienced and qualified probate attorney about the appropriate deadlines and what you can do if you need more time.