When there is a death in the family, the responsibility of settling the estate is often designated to the oldest child or a sibling. This is one of the saddest times in one’s life, full of emotion. There are many responsibilities the executor must attend to – making funeral arrangements, placing the house on the market, finalizing the financials, etc.
A task that many initially aren’t aware of is the process of creating an inventory. Normally this is required to be submitted within an established timeline. The estate inventory must include the contents of the home and any storage facilities that also hold the deceased’s belongings.
In addition to compiling this information, the executor must also determine the fair market value of each item. Fair market value is generally described as what a willing buyer and a willing seller agree is a fair price.
Time is of the essence, and often the executor struggles when pulling this information together. “Ed” did not live in the same state as his mother and found he was spending a lot of time and money traveling back and forth, while he handled all the responsibilities assigned to him as her executor. This meant he was away from work and family quite a bit. As he attempted to create the inventory one Saturday afternoon, he found he was just not able to do so. “I sat and stared at a blank piece of paper for hours, then called my attorney,” he said. “I told her that I just can’t do this. I don’t even know where to begin!” It was too emotional for Ed to even concentrate. The last thing he wanted to do was to comb through his mother’s belongings, bringing his sorrow back to the surface again.
Hiring a certified home inventory professional can relieve the executor of this emotional task while having confidence that the inventory will be completed properly and efficiently.