When a parent dies, it often falls to a child to act as the executor of the estate. The executor’s duties include a number of specific tasks, but one of the more difficult tasks to accomplish is often the inventorying and evaluation of tangible personal goods. Here is a quick list of a couple of steps you can take to more easily accomplish this task.
Divide and Conquer
Many parents leave behind houses full of personal property. Whether it’s a collection of knickknacks your parents had collected over the years or boxes of items that haven’t been seen in decades, getting a complete list of all this stuff can seem like an overwhelming task. One of the easiest ways to handle this challenge is to divide the task into rooms. Start creating your inventory by taking on one room at a time, such as by starting in the kitchen or a bedroom. Once you have identified everything in that room, you can then move on to the next until you have finished inventorying all the property in the home.
Individual Versus Multiple Items
Much of the property you inventory will be easily identifiable, such as individual pieces of furniture or electronics. Other pieces can be grouped together, such as grouping a collection of paperback books or mixing bowls. When you identify the smaller items by group, it’s important to be on the lookout for potentially valuable items that you may want to separate from the group to have evaluated by an appraiser.
You can learn a lot more about different fiduciaries involved in estate planning at one of our free estate planning seminars. The next seminars will be on July 23, 24th, and 25th in Grand Forks, North Dakota and Thief River Falls, Minnesota. Contact our office for details and registration information.
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