Question 1: What is a probate inventory?
When you serve as an executor or personal representative of an estate in New York, it is your job to perform a number of tasks. One of these tasks is to find out exactly what the decedent owned at the time of death and create a comprehensive list, known as an inventory. The inventory lists each individual piece of property, such as real estate, stocks, bank accounts, as well as debts.
Question 2: Do I have to include the value?
Yes. New York probate law requires that you include the value of the property at the time the decedent died. While some property, such as cash, is relatively easy to value, other property requires more work. For real estate, valuable personal property, and other property for which a value may not be readily apparent, the executor will often have to hire an appraiser. It is the appraiser’s job to evaluate the property and determine how much it is worth. Once knowing the appraisal value, the executor can then include the value in the inventory.
Question 3: How long does it take to create an inventory?
That depends on multiple factors. In general, the larger the estate, the longer it will take to create the inventory. Because the inventory process can take some time, the executor has to remember that he or she is responsible for maintaining the estate property until it can be transferred to new owners. This can require, for example, making mortgage payments or hiring people to perform regular maintenance on estate property.
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