When it comes to serving as an executor, one of the most important and yet difficult tasks for an executor is to identify all of the decedent’s property by type of ownership.     

This begins by locating, then valuing, and then organizing this property by the various ways that it is owned. This can require comprehensive research and information gathering, like going through all of the decedent’s records and figuring out everything that the decedent owned outright as well as property that that person had an interest in. Various types of property ownership could include individual ownership, joint ownership, and contracted property.

Determining total fair market value is the next step after the inventory has been sorted by type of ownership. The fair market value will determine the probate procedures that will be necessary in order for the executor to pass this property on to the decedent’s beneficiaries or heirs.

There are two general categories that apply to assets covered by a will. These are known as registered versus unregistered property. If you are thinking about establishing a person to serve in the role of executor or if you are currently an executor trying to navigate the process of closing out someone’s estate, scheduling a consultation with an estate planning attorney is the first step in figuring out what to do next.

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