Creating an Inventory of Assets

As an estate representative or executor, you will also have to create a comprehensive inventory, listing everything that you’ve gathered. This task may be made easier if you categorize possessions. Some example categories may include:

  • Property, or real assets
  • Household items
  • Cash
  • Stocks and bonds
  • Timeshare stakes
  • Vehicles and mobile homes
  • Business interests 
  • Jewelry

Appraising Each Piece

When your inventory is complete, you will need to take steps to appraise each item. You may appraise assets such as:

  • Monetary accounts and cash
  • Checks
  • Money market funds
  • Insurance payments made after or upon death

If you have marshaled other assets, you will need to inform the court, which will appoint a probate referee. The referee will assign real, fair-market values to other assets.

Either way, the appraised value is important because it determines potential tax payments, penalties, and even potential seizures in the event your estate has assets which may be claimed or contested by a creditor.

In California, you must create an inventory and finish appraising the estate assets within four months of completing your marshal.


Philip J. Kavesh
Nationally recognized attorney helping clients with customized estate planning guidance for over 40 years.