One of a personal representative’s biggest tasks is reviewing their loved one’s estate and taking stock of the assets. This can be daunting, so here are some of the critical things you must know about this particular task during probate.
How long do you have?
You have four months to complete the inventory of your loved one’s estate after filing probate. That is roughly 120 days in which, according to California law, you must:
- Compile a comprehensive list of their assets
- Obtain the value of each item in their estate
- File this inventory with the probate court
This time can pass faster than you think. It is critical to complete this process with care, to avoid mistakes and meet the deadlines. It is often helpful to seek legal guidance to assist you through this process.
What do I have to inventory?
It is not an exaggeration to say you must take inventory of everything in the estate. This includes, but is by no means limited to:
- Real estate property, including the decedent’s home as well as rental and/or any vacation properties
- Personal property, including furniture, vehicles, guns, jewelry and similar personal property
- Financial accounts, insurance policies and stocks
It is important to know that you must also take note of how your loved one owned the assets. Was it jointly owned with their spouse? Or did the decedent hold full ownership? This will be critical information for the probate court.
Don’t forget about debt
The debt your loved one owed is also a part of their estate – not just their assets. Therefore, you must also make sure you compile a detailed list of debts and creditors during this four-month period as well.
Taking a full inventory of your loved one’s estate can be a challenge. It will require you to be organized and pay close attention to detail. Navigating probate may be complex, but it is not impossible. It is often helpful to seek legal guidance to assist you through this process.