Many people in New York are asked to serve as a personal representative or executor over a relative’s estate. Even if the estate is not very large, you will likely have to deal with the problem of cataloging, valuing, and distributing all the pieces of tangible personal property the relative left behind. Here are some practical tips you can use to help you with that process.
Find a helper.
When you create an inventory of tangible personal property, it’s always a good idea to work with someone else. As you go through a home to catalog each of the items, your assistant can write down each item as you inspect it, while you can use small stickers or post-it notes to mark the items you have already inventoried.
Go room-by-room and use groups when appropriate.
To start the inventory process, it’s a good idea to begin in a single room and not leave that room until you are finished with everything in it. Write down everything from furniture and large electronics, to small items such as housewares and trinkets. If you come across a large collection of objects, such as books, you can often include them as a group instead of listing them individually.
Value and appraise.
Many of the items you come across can be easily valued by visiting eBay.com or other Internet sites. More valuable objects will likely need to be appraised by an expert you will have to hire.