by Cindy Hartman - January 24th, 2012

Though not a favorite topic for anyone to discuss, we wanted to share the importance of preparing a home inventory now rather than leaving that task to your executor.

Estate Settlement
Being an executor of an estate is a time-consuming, emotionally draining experience. Most people choose an adult child to take on those responsibilties. Have you considered what you can do to make this easier for him or her?

One required task will be to compile an inventory of the estate’s assets. Consider how difficult this will be for your executor as he or she prepares this document. Emotions aside, they will also need to find the time to document the items and assign a market value to each. One executor stated that he sat for hours staring at a blank piece of paper. He didn’t know where to begin, what he should list, or how to know what value to place on each item. Most prominent was the sadness he felt when thinking about looking through everything in the house. Additionally, he was from out of state and knew it would require him to be absent from his job for a few more days. Having the inventory professionally prepared addressed all of these issues.

How can you prevent this from happening to your adult children/executor?

Estate Planning
Creating an inventory of your personal property now will ease the estate settlement process for your executor. At your death, the inventory proces will have already been taken care of it. The only changes necessary will be making any recent updates and changing the replacement value of each item to the fair market value. That will be a very small task compared to compiling the entire inventory.

Whether you are elderly or just entering your adult life, an inventory is a living document that is extremely important to have prepared. For now, to ensure a maximized insurance claim after a loss. And for later, to ease the stress your executor will face.

Cindy Hartman
Hartman Inventory, LLC

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