How To Create a Probate Inventory List
Updated: May 1
Creating an probate inventory of the assets of a deceased loved one is a crucial part of the probate process. This is because it helps the probate court determine which assets should be included in the estate, the value of the assets and it also ensures that all beneficiaries and heirs will receive their full or partial inheritance. Creditors will also want to be paid out of the estate, so it’s important to make sure that all assets are accurately listed and valued.
The Probate Inventory Form
The probate inventory form is the document used to create an inventory list of the deceased’s assets. It can be found online, at the clerk of superior court, or provided by an estate planning attorney.
North Carolina Inventory Form
In North Carolina, if you are attempting to create an inventory of the deceased assets, you will use form AOC-E-505. You want to be sure to fill out this form carefully and include the following information
The decedent’s county of residence
The decedent’s name
Any accounts in the sole name of the decedent and their value
Any joint accounts, the percentage the decedent owned, and their value
Any stocks and bonds in the name of the decedent, the percentage they owned, and their value
The value of cash or any undeposited checks the decedent had
The decedent’s personal property, such as vehicles, equipment, and household furnishings, and their value
Any real estate, sold and unsold, willed to the estate and its value
In North Carolina, the inventory form should be turned in to the Probate Court within three months of being appointed personal representative. The form will also ask for specific information about each asset such as its fair market value and any associated debts or liens.
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What Assets will be included in the List?
The estate inventory should include all of the decedent's assets, such as property, vehicles, checking accounts, savings accounts, investments and investment properties, brokerage accounts, and other financial assets on the AOC-E-505 form. It should also include household items. However, each household item does not need to be listed individually. For example, it is ok to say dining room furniture.
Keep in mind that only assets owned solely by the decedent will be included, so any items jointly owned by another person should not be listed. If an asset is jointly owned, the debt or asset should be divided by the Probate Code.
Where to find the assets?
It may not always be easy to find all of the decedent's assets, but it is very important to find all or as much as possible of the estate inventory.
Begin by looking on top of dresser drawers, closets, tables, and cabinets for documents that may identify personal possessions.
Also, keep an eye on the mail that arrives. Look out for bank statements, stocks, bonds, and retirement plans. Look at the decedent's estate planning documents if any. You can also go to the registrar's of deed website and check for any property that may be in the decedent's name or if the decedent had an attorney, check with that attorney to see if he knows of the decedent's personal belongings.
If there is jewelry or antiques included in the estate inventory have it appraised to see if there is any value to it. Also if anyone owed the decedent money you may need to ask them to pay. Check with the decedent's bank to see if he had a safe deposit box. He could have left valuable items in it.
How to determine the value of the probate assets
To accurately list the value of each probate asset, it is important to obtain a fair market appraisal. This can be done by hiring an appraiser or using online resources such as Zillow or Redfin. A licensed real estate agent will be able to perform a comparative market analysis report on the property. This will report will give you an estimate of the value of the property. To determine the value of bank accounts and investments, you can check statements provided by the financial institution. For jewelry and antiques, you may want to consult a professional appraiser.
The Decedent's Debts
The Probate Inventory Form also requires that you list any debts owed by the decedent. This includes any secured debts such as mortgages, personal loans, car loans, medical bills and credit cards. It is important to include all debt on the Probate Inventory Form so that it can be paid off from the estate assets before the inheritance is distributed to beneficiaries.
The Probate Court’s Role
When an executor completes the probate Inventory it should include a detailed listing of all probate assets and must be submitted to the probate court along with other documents related to the estate.
Once the probate court has received the probate Inventory list, they will review it and make sure that all of the assets are accurately listed. They may also order an appraiser to verify certain items or consult with other financial professionals if necessary.
Once the probate court is satisfied that all assets have been accurately listed, they will approve the probate Inventory and the probate process can begin. This is an important step in ensuring that all beneficiaries receive their inheritance and creditors are paid out of the estate. It is also crucial for ensuring an efficient Probate process.
The executor's role
It is the executor's job and responsibility to liquidate as many of the assets as possible. This can be done by selling the assets or transferring them to beneficiaries. The probate court will also review all of the proposed transfers to make sure that they are in line with the probate Code and the requirements of the Probate Inventory.
Once the assets have been liquidated whatever monies that are remaining will be distributed to the beneficiaries and heirs, according to the wishes of the deceased. The probate court will review this distribution as well and make sure that it is within the Probate Code.
Creating an accurate probate Inventory list is an important step in ensuring that all probate assets are accounted for and transferred correctly. We understand that this can be a tedious and stressful time for those involved, and we are here to help. With our knowledge and expertise, we can ensure that all Probate Inventory forms are completed correctly and submitted in a timely manner.
If you find yourself having any additional questions or need assistance with creating an inventory list feel free to reach out to us. We would be happy to share our expertise with you.
Certified Probate Real Estate Specialist
* NOTE: North Carolina Probate Solutions and the author of this article is not a licensed attorney or CPA. This post should not be considered legal or tax advice. Always consult an estate attorney or tax professional when needing legal answers, guidance or advice.