One of the duties of a Personal Representative is to present or file an Inventory of the decedent’s assets with the probate court. The Personal Representative is required to prepare, serve and present (or file) an Inventory of the assets of the estate to all interested persons, within 91 days from the date the Letters of Authority are issued. It is a “snapshot” of the assets which are held in the decedent’s name at the time of death.
The Inventory must list in reasonable detail all the property owned by the decedent at the time of death. Assets that are jointly held or assets that are pay-on-death to a beneficiary (for example, life insurance with a named beneficiary) are not included.
The Personal Representative is required to submit to the Court the information necessary to calculate the probate Inventory fee that is owed to the probate court within 91 days from the date the Letters of Authority are issued. The Inventory Fee must be paid to the probate court based on the value of assets set forth on the Inventory. A convenient Inventory fee calculator to assist in making sense of the confusing statute can be found here. Incredibly, even if the Inventory has “zero” listed, the minimum fee of $5.00 must still be paid. All Inventory fees are rounded to the nearest dollar.
Definitions for an Inventory
- Real property means land, including a building or house that is built on the land.
- Personal property means everything that a person owns except real property. Personal property includes bank accounts and checking accounts.
Examples of items that can be listed include both real and personal property:
- Bank accounts
- Any other individual item of high value (such as a fur coat)
- Prepaid burial contracts Life insurance (cash value)
- Mutual funds
- Stocks and bonds
Valuing Real Estate
For purposes of calculating the value of real property (houses and land), if the death occurred after March 28, 2013, any liens on the property can be deducted from the value of the real estate. Not surprisingly, if the lien is greater than the value of the real estate, it does not reduce the total value of any other assets. For example, if the property is valued at $40,000 and there is a $60,000 mortgage balance, the real property will be valued zero (rather than negative $20,000).
The Probate Pro can assist in preparing and filing all of the necessary documents with the probate court. Call us today!