Your loved one passes away, leaving behind financial assets, physical assets, a home, a car and much more. You know that you need to divide this up between their heirs and beneficiaries. But you can’t just do that without determining what is really there.
As such, this process usually starts with doing inventory. All of the assets have to be located and accounted for. This may be done in conjunction with the will, which should tell you what assets to look for, but remember that some assets may not have been included in the will or may have been sold off since the will was drafted.
Needless to say, this becomes a complicated process in many cases. Whose job is it to go through and inventory everything, gathering paperwork and making sure the estate is in order?
Who is the estate executor?
Ideally, your loved one named an estate executor. It’s the executor’s job to carry out everything that is listed in the will and the estate plan. They will be responsible for inventorying all of those assets to get started.
It is very important for other heirs to respect the authority given to the estate executor. Not doing so can lead to disputes and even illegal actions. For instance, an heir who has their heart set on a certain asset may go into the home and remove it before the inventory is carried out. This should never be done. The right process has to be followed.
If probate does get complicated and/or does lead to a legal dispute, it’s important for everyone involved to know what legal options they have.