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How to create an inventory of someone’s estate

On Behalf of | Jul 20, 2021 | Estate Planning |

If you are the executor (also sometimes called a personal representative) of someone’s estate in Florida, you are entrusted with carrying out many important tasks. One of them is making an inventory of the person’s estate for probate reasons. This is a key step in the probate process. It needs to be done as completely and thoroughly as possible. Familiarizing yourself with how to go about this is helpful and can ultimately save you a lot of time and eliminate dealing with red tape later on.

You might not know how to begin putting the inventory together. If the person left a sizable estate, the job can seem daunting. As a first step, you should examine the person’s will, but don’t stop there. You will require other sources of information as well.

Which documents would have the information you need?

You need to know as much as you can about the entire extent of the person’s assets. To find details about what they owned, papers like the following are usually good places to find information:

  • Real estate deeds
  • Titles to automobiles and boats
  • Records from corporations
  • Life insurance policies
  • Bonds and stocks
  • Bank statements

There are tangible assets like homes, valuables such as art, antiques and jewelry as well as intangible assets. The latter might include retirement plans, savings accounts, checking accounts and business ownerships.

You also have to unearth details regarding the person’s debts. That would include, for example, bills of all types (utilities, medical, credit card balances, loans and mortgages, even the funeral costs).

Next, you have to note the value of these assets and debts. Appraisals and financial statements can be useful with that.

Preparing the inventory is a sometimes tricky part of being an executor. Even if you are inventorying your own possessions and debts for the purpose of making your will, you should be as complete as you can. If you hit a snag or have questions, think about getting expert help.