It’s never easy to think about, but before a loved one passes away, there are important steps that need to be taken care of to ensure a seamless transition of their assets. All people have an idea for how they want their assets, such as wealth, property, stocks, jewelry and more, distributed to their loved ones. For this reason, it’s a wise decision to proactively create an estate plan.

After a loved one passes away, the executor of their will will be required to create an inventory of the deceased’s assets. When it comes to the probate process (the judicial procedure by which a testamentary document is established to be a valid will), this is one of the most important parts. If you are the executor of your deceased loved one’s will, you will need to handle their assets with care, because when you carefully list the deceased’s assets, and summate a clear idea of their value, can those assets be distributed to beneficiaries. 

Read on to learn more about how the value of assets can be estimated and then distributed to heirs and creditors. At Thomas Walters, we understand that it’s never easy to think about a loved one passing away. That’s why we make every effort to ensure your comfort and confidence at every step of the estate planning process, and even offer a free consultation to anyone in need.

What Estate Planning Terms Should I Learn As An Executor?

Probate: Probate is the judicial procedure by which a testamentary document is established to be a valid will.

Assets: Assets are something of value owned by an individual or organization. An asset can be physical property like a building or intangible property such as a patent.

Will: A will is a term that refers to the document written by a testator that details what is to happen to property owned by that testator upon death.

Estate: An estate is the total property; real and personal, owned by an individual prior to distribution through a trust or will.

What Are The Steps To Creating An Inventory Of Assets?

Step #1: Get a probate inventory form.
When you’re ready to create the inventory of assets, you first need to get the probate inventory form. You can get a probate inventory form from your local state court. In some districts, you can download the form directly from the court’s website, or in other cases, you may be required to go into the court itself or request a copy via mail or email.

Step #2: Locate the deceased’s assets and determine their value.
Next, you will need to locate the deceased’s assets. This includes money in any bank accounts, property, stocks, bonds, jewelry and other fine metals, vehicles or boats, artwork, and much more. You will also need to create a list of debts owed. Before assets are distributed to beneficiaries and heirs, these debts will need to be paid off with the money left behind by the deceased.

SteP#3: File an inventory form with the court
Step three, the last step in the asset inventory process, is to file an inventory form with the court. According to North Carolina state statute, filing the inventory form needs to be completed by a certain time frame–within three months of the qualification date. On this inventory form, you are required to list all cash assets and non-cash assets (jewelry, property, cars, stocks, antiques, etc.). It is also required that these assets have been calculated by an independent third-party appraisal. The independent third-party appraiser will assess and add up how much all assets are worth. Once this is complete, and all of the information is detailed on the inventory form, you’re ready to file with the local North Carolina court. The inventory form, once submitted to the court, will then be audited by a court clerk. In addition, they will also assess any proof and evidence you prove, substantiating it all as they go.

Schedule A Free Consultation With Thomas Walters About Creating An Inventory Of Assets

It’s never easy to think about a loved one passing away, but planning ahead for the process is crucial. At Thomas Walters, we understand how important this process is for you and your family. If you have questions about any part of the estate planning process, or need assistance with creating an inventory of assets after a loved one has passed away, schedule a free consultation with our trusted North Carolina estate planning lawyers. We treat our clients like family, and will work hard to ensure that you feel confident at every step.