Trusted Southern Ohio Attorneys

A full inventory of assets can make the probate process easier

On Behalf of | Feb 22, 2024 | Estate Planning

In Ohio, it is important to understand the steps that must be taken after a person dies and the probate process gets underway. This is true for the person who has created an estate plan and the executor or administrator.

Missteps can delay property being passed along to heirs as the testator wanted. It can also add obstacles for the executor as they seek to adhere to the testator’s wishes as laid out in the will. An inventory of the testator’s assets is a key part of probate and knowing the details is key from the outset.

Know the importance of inventory with probate

The executor or administrator is responsible for taking an inventory of the testator’s property. This is generally done within three months after appointment. Extensions can be granted if the court finds there is good cause to do so. The court will be informed of all property the testator owned.

It can be difficult to sift through a person’s property and fully inventory what they owned. In some cases, newly discovered assets are found after the initial inventory was filed. For example, the testator could have owned collectibles that were not found until their home was being cleared. There could be assets that even the testator had forgotten about such as an old bank account or investments. Since these can have value, they must be added to the inventory.

The law says that once the executor discovers these assets, they will add them to the inventory within 30 days. They will be distributed to beneficiaries in the same way that items previously inventoried would be. They need to be itemized and valued. The executor might not need to inventory or appraise them unless the court orders them to or when an interested party files an application for it.

Estate planning and probate can be complex

It is wise for everyone to have an estate plan regardless of the size of their estate. Still, there are other factors that can be forgotten and might complicate the process for the executor and the beneficiaries.

It is understandable if people forget certain properties when they determine how to distribute their assets, but it is useful to scrutinize what they own to smooth the process. For these issues and anything else related to estate planning and probate, being fully prepared is critical.