Navigation & Progress of 34 Steps
44%

Step 15 - Prepare an Assets & Liabilities Inventory

Last updated: June 2019

Why is this important?

This step explains why recording all the deceased person’s belongings, assets and liabilities is critical. The main objective of the deceased estate administration is to determine the value of the estate for distribution as inheritance to the Beneficiaries.

 

simplyEstate is here to help with the process. Contact us via email or book a free first phone appointment.

Approximate Effort & Cost

Reading: 15 mins
Completing: 2-4 hrs
Total: 2:15-4:15 hrs
Cost: $49.90

Effort and cost are general estimates only and are based on the assumption that you complete this step without specialist help.

Instructions

To find out how this Process Guide works, access the instructions here.

Glossary

To find out what the capitalised words mean, access the glossary here.

15.1 Overview

The estate is made up of various Assets and Liabilities. To get a good understanding of these, you should start compiling all the known items in an inventory to:

  • keep oversight of what makes up the estate;
  • understand the size and value of the estate;
  • provide the Beneficiaries an overview of the estate;
  • prepare for Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration application;
  • lodge a final tax return; and
  • know how much will be distributed to Beneficiaries.

Contents
15.2 The Importance of the Assets & Liabilities Inventory
15.3 Assets
   15.3.1 Home Contents
   15.3.2 Vehicles
   15.3.3 Real Estate
   15.3.4 Cash and Other Assets
   15.3.5 Rental Bonds and Nursing Home Deposits
   15.3.6 Possible Claims
15.4 Liabilities
15.5 Actions and Decisions to Complete Step

 

You can download the simplyEstate Assets & Liabilities Inventory.


Note: You will complete the Assets & Liabilities Inventory as you work through Steps 15 – 26 of this Process Guide. As you progress you will gain access to information privy to the Executor(s) and Administrator that will allow you to determine the estate’s assets, liabilities and value necessary to then finalise and distribute the estate.

15.2 The Importance of the Assets & Liabilities Inventory

Before launching into this Step, it is important to understand why this part of the estate administration is so critical. As the Executor or Administrator administering the estate, you are responsible for accurately and truly reflecting the estate’s financial situation.

 

Imagine the situation where the estate is finalised, the known liabilities were paid, and the remainder is distributed to the Beneficiaries as inheritance. Now, after a few months it turns out that the deceased person had taken a loan and owes money that was not identified as a Liability during this process and a claim is made for the money to be repaid. As the Executor or Administrator, you are responsible to identify all assets and liabilities, and serve the necessary notices before distribution as described in this Process Guide. If you do not follow the steps outlined carefully, you may be personally liable to pay the debt if you cannot collect parts of the distributed inheritance back from the Beneficiaries.

 

The above case study should not discourage you about having taken on the role as Executor or Administrator. It aims to highlight how important it is to take the time needed to work through the deceased estate in careful detail and seeking specialist help when in doubt.
It will also be important to frequently communicate with the family of the deceased person and Beneficiaries to educate them, to receive as much information as possible, validate your findings and ensure there is agreement to avoid any disputes later.

simplyEstate is here to help.

Contact us via email or book your free first phone appointment.

15.3 Record Assets

At this point it will important to list all the assets you know of or think may exist. You will confirm each item and its exact value as you work through the following Steps, so it is fine not to be perfect at this stage.

 

The following are some key assets, to help you with investigating and compiling a complete inventory:

15.3.1 Home Contents

The most immediate step is to capture all contents in the home or in the last place of residence of the deceased person before clearing these. The Will (where available) may specify items that will be handed to certain Beneficiaries; you should take note of these as a priority.


Especially, where you have identified possible conflict between Beneficiaries and you are concerned that someone will try to obtain possession over certain items, it is important to immediately take stock of all items including the following that may have a resell value:

  • furniture
  • personal belongings
  • jewellery
  • valuables
  • antiques
  • collections
  • pieces of art
  • computers
  • mobile phones
  • clothes
  • white goods and other equipment (washing machine, dryer, fridge, dishwasher, kitchen aids, gardening equipment etc.)
  • crockery and cutlery (especially if deemed of high monetary or sentimental value)

Some items may have great sentimental value to the family or individuals but do not have a resell value if sold. If this is the case, you should capture these items separately without a Dollar value.

 

simplyEstate has partnered with professional specialists who can value the home contents listed in the yellow section to the right or below.

15.3.2 Vehicles


Once the home contents are captured, it is also important to note all vehicles owned by the deceased. This may include:

  • cars;
  • motor bikes;
  • boats;
  • jet-skis;
  • bicycles; and
  • any other vehicles.

simplyEstate has partnered with professional specialists who can value the home contents listed in the yellow section to the right or below.

15.3.3 Real Estate

As you progress through the estate administration process you will value each asset including real estate. Take note of all known real estate in the inventory and follow Step 16 – Clear the Home or Residence and Step 17 – Value the Home & Other Real Estate to finalise the real estate component of the inventory.

15.3.4 Cash and Other Assets

As you progress through the estate administration process you will obtain final bank statements from all the banks you have notified in Step 12 – Notify the Relevant Government Departments, Companies and Organisations.

 

If you are aware of other assets, such as shares, bonds or other investments, you should note these in the inventory immediately and find about how to obtain a statement of the current value. Step 19 – Deal with Banks & Finances will discuss this in further detail.

15.3.5 Rental Bonds and Nursing Home Deposits

If the deceased person rented a house or apartment, the rental bond refund should be requested. This is described in more detail in Step 16 – Clear the Home or Residence.

 

If the deceased person lived in a nursing or care home, it is likely that a deposit was paid at the beginning of the residency, which can be requested back. You should refer to the contract or contact the nursing or care home to understand how much was paid as a deposit and how to make the refund request. It is very likely that Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration will be needed by the nursing or care home to release the funds. This topic is further discussed in Step 27 – Apply for Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration.

15.3.6 Possible Claims

You may be able to make certain claims from insurance companies or other Organisations depending on the level of planning and cover put in place by the deceased person. You can enter some assumed items on the simplyEstate Assets & Liabilities Inventory that you can confirm as you work through the estate. Step 25 – Claim Insurance & Other Benefits will explain this in more detail.

 

The deceased person may also be owed money or items lent to a friend or relative. It may be more difficult to get a complete picture of such situations. However, it may be worthwhile looking for large bank transactions out of the deceased person’s accounts once you get access to these as discussed in detail in Step 19 – Deal with Banks & Finances.

15.4 Liabilities

As you progress through the estate administration process you will obtain final bank statements from all the banks you have notified in Step 12 – Notify the Relevant Government Departments, Companies and Organisations.

 

All liabilities will need to be offset against the assets to understand the total value of the deceased estate. Liabilities can be:

  • mortgages;
  • loans;
  • personal loans;
  • credit card debts;
  • unpaid bills; and
  • any other form of obligation resulting in future claims.

The deceased person may also owe money or item borrowed from a friend or relative. It may be more difficult to get a complete picture of such items.

However, it may be worthwhile looking for large bank transactions into the deceased person’s accounts once you get access to bank statements as discussed in detail in Step 19 – Deal with Banks & Finances to understand what may need to be listed under the liabilities.

9.5 Actions and Decisions to Complete Step

If you would like a little help from us at simplyEstate with this Step, you can email us or book your free first phone appointment. If you would like specialist help, get in touch with one of our Specialist Partners listed in the yellow section to the right or below and see how they can help.

 

If you have decided to tackle this Step yourself after reading and understanding this Step, you may want to:

  1. Download the simplyEstate Assets & Liabilities Inventory or start your own inventory to capture all the assets and liabilities of the estate;
  2. Take inventory of all household items that may be sold and the approximate value;
  3. Capture all items listed in the Will (where available) and identify these in the deceased person’s home or among the belongings;
  4. Capture all other Assets and Liabilities with an approximate Dollar or sentimental value;
  5. Contact the nursing or care home for a copy of the contract to determine the size of the bond that will be repaid; and
  6. Update the inventory as you find new belongings, assets and liabilities as you work through the following steps.

Once you have completed all the necessary actions and decisions, you can move on to the next Step by clicking below or save progress at the top.

Do you need specialist help?

simplyEstate has partnered with select Specialists across Australia to assist you.

 

You can click on your State/Territory to find a suitable Specialist and get in touch to discuss how they can help you.

Get in Touch

  the simplyEstate logo contains the name with three overlapping circles in red, blue and yellow colours to symbolise an integrated process and progress  

If you would like to speak to us about this Step, discuss how to engage a Specialist Partner or need support, book a Phone Appointment now.

simplyEstate is here to help.

 

Help us improve this step

If you have worked through this step and found something that could be added, is not quite right or you think may no longer apply, please let us now.

We will not share your details. By using this form you agree with the storage and handling of your data by this website as outlined in the Privacy Policy, which is available here.

What other users say

“This is a very useful guide! As the Executor of a family friends estate, this was my go-to place for information and the services provided by the recommended tax accountant and removalists was great.”

Andrew Zhao
Melbourne
“It is a lot of materials at first but I quickly understood why. estate administration can be tricky but thanks to simplyestate, we were able to deal with my brother’s affairs in a a few months. Thank you for your help…”

Maria Stamoulis
Sydney
“simplyEstate has helped me and my family during a very difficult time after the loss of my mother. We were lost initially and don’t know how we could’ve managed without this excellent resource, thank you very much!”

Jane Winters
Perth

Save Your Progress

bar with red blue and yellow sections

Thank you for using our Process Guide
Enter your email address below and we will send you this link. That way you can easily find your way back and continue where you left off.

We may send you some useful information and a reminder, for your convenience. You can unsubscribe any time.

We will not share your details. By using this form you agree with the storage and handling of your data by this website as outlined in the Privacy Policy, which is available here.