When someone dies, they leave behind assets that family and friends may want or that creditors may be entitled to. This means someone must go through the deceased person’s assets to make a list of what is there, how much it is worth, and who has a right to it. In other words, they must create an estate inventory. In most cases, this task is left to the executor of the will. If this is you and you’re not sure where to begin, you should talk to a lawyer for legal support as the estate goes through probate.
What Items Should You Include in the Estate Inventory?
Anything that the deceased person owned during their lifetime should be included in the estate inventory. If you need ideas on what items to start looking for, note that these are the most common assets found in estate inventories:
- Checking accounts
- Savings accounts
- Retirement accounts, such as IRAs and 401ks
- College savings accounts
- Business interests, such as partnerships, corporations, or sole proprietorships
- Pension plans
- Life insurance
- Disability insurance
- Real estate, including personal, vacation, and investment homes
- Household items, including furniture and electronics
This list should give you an idea of what to look for during probate. A Minneapolis lawyer can also lead you in the right direction as you create an estate inventory, so contact our law office today.
How Can You Find Assets to Add to the Estate Inventory?
If you’re not sure where to look for assets to add to the estate inventory, there are a few resources that can help. First, check the will, as this should provide a listing of the main assets and directions on who gets each item. If there is no will, or if you’re worried that all assets are not listed on it, you should find out if the deceased person has a financial advisor or estate planning lawyer you can talk to.
You should also check the house for a safe or hiding spot where the deceased might have hidden money, jewelry, and other assets. In addition, you can look at bank statements and tax returns to make sure you’re aware of all assets. Finally, you should search online for insurance policies, retirement benefits, and real estate that the deceased person may have owned.
What Do You Do with the Assets?
Once you are aware of all assets and have added them to the estate inventory, you need to find out their fair market value. The next step is to determine who owns each item. If it’s marital property, a surviving spouse might own it. If it’s not paid off – such as a car or house – a bank or another creditor might own it.
If you have questions during the estate inventory step, contact a Twin Cities attorney at Metropolitan Law Group for help. Call our office at 612-448-9653 to learn more.