As an Executor, it is your responsibility to determine the value of the Deceased’s assets as of his or her date of death. Depending on the relationship between the Deceased and the Executor, this step can be easy or a little complicated. If you are not familiar with the Deceased’s assets, below are some ways an Executor would be able to determine the assets of the estate.
- Review the Will, if there is one: If the Deceased left a Will there may be mentions of assets that they own such as real estate, bank and investment accounts, valuable household items, jewellery etc. This would prompt the Executor to go searching for those assets.
- Search the Deceased’s personal belongings: If you have access to the Deceased’s residence, completing a thorough search of the Deceased’s personal belongings can also provide the Executor with an idea of what the Deceased owned as of his or her date of death. For example, locating financial statements, tax returns, mail, emails, and loyalty cards.
- Contacting Financial Institutions: Another way to search for information concerning the Deceased’s assets is to contact banks, investment companies and credit unions to request information on all accounts they are holding in the name of the Deceased. This also gives the Executor an opportunity to identify the liabilities of the Estate as the banks would normally also provide information regarding any mortgages or lines of credit the Deceased may have had at the time of his or her passing.
Overall, investigating estate assets can be very frustrating and time consuming. But with a lot of patience and good record keeping, the Executor can locate these assets and prepare a work plan to properly administer the estate.
Nothing contained in this post constitutes legal advice or establishes a solicitor-client relationship. If you have any questions regarding your legal rights or legal obligations, you should consult a lawyer.