If you plan on being the estate executor for a parent, you know that you have great responsibilities ahead of you. Organizing the assets of the estate is one of them. You should know what your parent owns so you can distribute the property to heirs.
Creating an inventory of the estate assets is a good first step to managing the estate. However, you should be ready for this process to be hard and time consuming.
Check for an existing list
Some testators create a list of their assets in advance. Kiplinger explains that an asset list should include various information, such as the following:
- Other assets
- Debts and liabilities
- Digital asset passwords
- Online account passwords
The list may also contain contact information. Your parent might use an asset list to describe how to get in touch with professional consultants, such as a financial advisor who has previously worked with your parent on asset or tax issues.
Gather information from documents
In the event you do not have an existing list to work with, you will have to accumulate information from records and contracts your parent owns. You may have to conduct an extensive search through insurance papers and tax records, and then check anything your parent may have put in storage. A common example would be items in a safe deposit box.
As the years pass, some people forget about accounts they own. You could run across an old account or an asset like a stock certificate that your parent had hidden away under furniture or in an attic. Creating an asset inventory may take careful investigation to ensure the most complete list possible.