When you choose a personal representative for your estate, that person is taking on a lot of responsibility. One of their responsibilities is to inventory your estate.
You can make this job much easier for them by keeping an inventory of your assets with your estate plan. If you choose not to, then they will be in charge of documenting your assets.
When does the personal representative need to document your assets?
Normally, the representative documents assets only after a person passes away. They go through the estate plan and locate the person's property, noting down what is or is not present.
The document they create, which is called an inventory, is used when the representative calls your creditors to inform them of your death. In the case that the assets are valuable enough to pay the creditors, they'll be used for that purpose. If not, the personal representative normally goes to court to ask the judge who they should or should not pay.
How can you make inventorying your assets easier for your personal representative?
Your personal representative will always have to inventory your assets after death, but you can make it easier for them by keeping documentation on your assets within your estate plan. You should leave information on where your estate's administrator can find the assets and note down what you have in your possession. At the very least, it's helpful to include all major assets in a note to your representative.
Your attorney can help you prepare your estate plan to make it as simple to execute as possible. Our site has more on estate planning and its value.