The second main step in the probate process is the collection of assets. After the personal representative has been appointed, he or she must find and collect all of the assets in the estate. This can be a daunting process, but our lawyers are here to help.
There are many different methods a personal representative may use to collect the assets. No matter which route he or she takes, the most important thing is to be accurate and thorough. Leaving out assets can cause major delays in the process of probate. Fortunately, the personal representative typically has many resources that will assist in putting together the list of assets.
Oftentimes, the decedent will leave a letter behind that contains either instructions or a list of the assets. Even when this letter exists, it is still important to explore other avenues. There may be assets that were overlooked or not mentioned for one reason or another. Consulting with a knowledgeable family member might help turn up other assets. Other ways to discover and collect assets include:
- Evaluating the decedent’s tax returns;
- Reviewing the decedent’s checkbook register and bank statements;
- Locating any safety deposit boxes that are in the decedent’s name; or
- Having the decedent’s mail forwarded to the personal representative and checking each item carefully
It is always a good idea to use as many collection methods as possible. As the personal representative makes the list of assets, he or she should also separate each item into probate or non-probate property. Since it sometimes can be difficult to distinguish the difference, it is always a good idea to consult with a qualified Minnesota probate attorney.
By accurately collecting and classifying each asset of the decedent’s estate, the personal representative makes the first preparations for dividing the assets and transferring property.
If you need help with asset collection, or any other part of the probate process, our attorneys are here to help. We can help you quickly, and accurately, gather all of the assets of an estate. Contact the Brown Law Offices, P.A. today at 763-323-6555 for a free consultation.
Find out more about probate in Minnesota by reading Probate Process Step 3: Record Keeping