One of the earliest steps in the administration of an estate will involve creating an inventory of assets and financial liabilities. You will need this inventory to present to the probate court along with the last will and other important documentation.
The inventory of assets will give the courts an idea of how complex the estate’s administration will be. It will also create a starting point for the rest of the process, including the repayment of creditors and the distribution of remaining assets.
Locate financial holdings and real property
Some people are very thorough in their estate plan and will have an accurate inventory of their major assets already waiting for you. Others will have given more generic instructions and will have left you with the duty of locating, valuing and liquidating or distributing various assets.
Reviewing financial records can help you find accounts and financial assets. There may also be professionals like an accountant or investment advisors who can assist you in locating financial holdings. Local searches with the county recorder’s office can help you locate real estate holdings if you believe the deceased, but did not include information about them and their estate plan.
Make sure to put a price on physical possessions as well
Looking at physical possessions for their value is also important. Jewelry, classic cars, collectibles and fine art can all drastically increase the overall value of an estate if properly valued and sold for a fair market price or distributed as intended to beneficiaries of the estate.
You may need professional help in locating assets as well as in the process of valuing them, but the estate will cover the costs of administration, including necessary professional fees associated with the administration of the estate. Getting the help you need will ensure you don’t make mistakes during your work as an executor.