Probate Administration: Asset Identification

As an executor of a will, it is your fiduciary duty to identify all assets of the estate. Failing to do so can end in a personal lawsuit against you, which would of course further splinter family relations. During the process of grieving for the loss of your loved one, mistakes can easily be made when you get put under the pressure of carrying out the many duties of executor. Asset identification is one of the more complex aspects of probate, which is why hiring an experienced Anne Arundel County probate administration attorney is always recommended.

Locating Assets is More Challenging Than You Think

Asset identification is rarely as simple as looking up the home’s property value on Zillow and accessing their bank account to see how much money is in their checking and saving accounts. Typically, people have assets in many places, some of which are inaccessible for you to even look at. It is rare that the average person will have the knowledge necessary to locate all of a decedent’s assets so that they can be distributed to all of the proper heirs and beneficiaries.

Working Through Serious Complications

For testators, Time Money recommends bringing in an appraiser to place value on certain personal belongings like collectibles, furniture, and art. This is an example of exemplary preparation. Unfortunately, many wills are incomplete, documents are not properly organized or are left behind, and, in some cases, the decedent has no will at all (only 44 percent of adult Americans have a will according to a recent Gallup poll). In these scenarios, when there has been little to no preparation, or simply not enough, given the vast scope of the decedent’s belongings and assets, it is all too easy to leave something behind. While you may have simply failed to take proper inventory, a family member who is already under great duress may escalate matters by filing a lawsuit claiming that you stole funds.

Types of Assets You Need to Look For

Listed below are just some of the many types of financial, personal, and business assets that an executor is responsible for locating. As you can see, there are often many stones to turn over, so to speak, before all of a decedent’s assets are discovered.

  • Bank accounts;
  • Stocks and bonds;
  • 401(k);
  • Life insurance policies;
  • LLCs;
  • Shell Corporations;
  • Family trusts;
  • Real estate;
  • Cars;
  • Boats, RVs, or other motor vehicles;
  • Personal belongings such as clothing;
  • Electronics;
  • Jewelry;
  • Furniture;
  • Art;
  • Family heirlooms; and
  • More.

Call Maryland Probate Attorney Tara K. Frame Today

We will assist you to ensure that you accomplish your fiduciary duty to uncover all of the estate’s assets so that all beneficiaries receive their beloved belongings and financial property as soon as possible, and so that this tragic time in your life can be put behind you with as much ease as possible. As executor of the will, you have much on your plate. Let the Pasadena probate administration attorneys of Frame & Frame help you. Contact us today to set up a consultation at your soonest availability.