When a loved one passes away, it can seem as if you are in a whirlwind of events and emotions. Funeral arrangements may need making or at least carried out, surviving family members may come and go, people will say goodbyes and the estate will need settling. If your loved one named you as the executor of his or her estate, your experience with your loved one's passing may continue for some time.
The executor holds the responsibility of settling the final affairs of a deceased person. The probate process can take a considerable amount of time, and you may seem at a loss for how to take certain steps, even at the beginning.
Finding a loved one's assets
One of the first steps you will need to take is to locate your loved one's assets. Of course, your loved one may have had numerous assets, and you may not even know where to start looking for accounts. In a best-case scenario, the decedent will have discussed this task before his or her passing or at least left an inventory of assets as part of an estate plan. If that is not the case, you are not out of luck.
When it comes to finding financial accounts and records of monies that your family member may have had in his or her possession, reviewing past tax returns can be a useful place to start. Tax returns typically contain a variety of financial information relating to income individuals obtain, including interest earned on certain accounts.
Of course, you may not need to look just for monetary accounts. Your loved one may have also owned real estate. In efforts to find property owned by the decedent, you may benefit from checking the county assessor's website. You may have the ability to input your family member's name and, hopefully, retrieve information regarding property owned by the person.
If you know ahead of time that your loved one has named you as the executor of his or her estate, speaking with your loved one about finding assets can save time and effort. Of course, if you did not have the chance to have this conversation, you do not have to try to find assets on your own.
In addition to the previously mentioned steps, you can also enlist the help of professionals. In particular, a Minnesota attorney could help you throughout the probate process and give you advice on how to go about finding your loved one's assets.