Estate Administration

Checklist: Use by Executor

Greg Stone Greg Stone

Checklist: Use by Executor

Estate of:
Date of Death:
Social Security Number:

The following Checklist should be used by the Executor to collect and investigate the assets and potential assets of the Decedent.

The Executor is encouraged to send out copies to heirs and interested parties to help fill in the blanks, so to speak, to effect an orderly collection and disbursement of assets, as permitted by law and statute.

1.Personal Data

The following personal information should be listed for the Decedent:

Name:
Address:
Former Addresses:
SSN:
Date of birth:
Place of Birth:
Date of death:
Place of Death:
Passport Number, if any:
Driver License Number, if any:

2.Circumstances Surrounding Death

The Decedent died of natural causes, with no unusual circumstances about the death. If any unusual or questionable circumstances occurred, attach a separate Exhibit and any relevant documents.

3.Safe Deposit Box or Boxes

The Decedent owned or had access to the following safe deposit box(es):

Box Number:
Joint Owner:
Location:
Other Locations:

Box Number:
Joint Owner:
Location:

4.Legal and Financial Advisors

The Decedent's financial advisors and financial advisors included the following:

List all pertinent details. Be sure to include former business partners and old friends who would have a broader sense of Decedent’s dealings.

5.Estate Documents

The Decedent's estate planning included the following documents: Be sure to inquire specifically about these with any people uncovered in Section 4 above.

6.Responsible Parties

The following persons or entities are the most knowledgeable about the Decedent's financial and personal matters, and/or are the most likely to be involved in handling the Decedent's estate: List them. Also, try to solicit any personal financial statements prepared by Decedent in recent years to uncover how he valued his own assets and what assets he listed. If PC literate, he may have kept such a file in a personal or other file on his PC. Look for it.

7.Marital Status

If The Decedent was married at the time of death, the following information is provided regarding the surviving spouse:

Name:
Address:

Phone:
SSN:
Birth Date:
Place of Birth

8.Prenuptial Agreement

Determine whether the Decedent and the surviving spouse had entered into a premarital agreement as follows:

Name of Agreement:
Date of Agreement:

If current spouse says no, be sure to check with the parties listed in Section 4 to see if they verify these facts. Also, check Decedent’s PC and financial files/personal financial statements to see if any hints to the contrary exist.

9.Prior Marriages

Determine if there were any and if so the cause and the particulars insofar as they may impact the estate and the heirs.

10.Children

The Decedent had children as follows:

Natural Children

Name:
Address:
Phone:
Birth Date:
SSN:

Step and/or adopted Children

Name:
Address:
Phone:
Birth Date:
SSN:

Make a longer list if more children are involved.

11.Children of Surviving Spouse

Identify which children are those of surviving spouse and which are the result of earlier marriages and/or relationships. Make that notation above, in Section 10.

12.Other possible Beneficiaries

The Decedent had the following individuals who could be considered heirs and beneficiaries who are not either a spouse or child of the Decedent:

Individuals

Name:
Address:
Relationship:
Birth Date:
SSN:

Charities or other Organizations

Name:
Address:
Relationship:
Birth Date:
Tax ID No.:

Make a longer list, as required.

13.Life Insurance

The Decedent owned life insurance as follows:

Company:
Policy No.:
Amount:
Beneficiary:
Insured:
Contact:

Company:
Policy No.:
Amount:
Beneficiary:
Insured:
Contact:

14.Retirement Plans

The Decedent owned retirement plan account(s) as follows:

Description:
Account No.:
Amount:
Contact:

Description:
Account No.:
Amount:
Contact:

Be very diligent in tracking these down. They can emerge from many sources, especially since many retirement accounts are set up on the fly around tax time—and often overlooked later by the party that did so, especially if Decedent set it up outside a larger financial relationship which would be more likely to capture the data and report it on a regular basis.

15.Employment and Previous Employment

The Decedent's employment information is as follows:

Employer:
Status:
Contact:

Previous Employers

Employer:
Status:
Contact:

As with retirement accounts, previous employers are ripe areas to undercover assets that are still related to that endeavor but not reported elsewhere. Also, former associates may well be able to point you in the right direction.

16.Real Estate

The Decedent owned real estate as follows:

Description:
Value:
Joint Owner:

Description:
Value:
Joint Owner:

The challenge here is to uncover minority investments in private arrangements that do not appear on the surface. Check out recent IRS returns for any hints that these kinds of properties might exist but are not reported otherwise in Decedent’s records.

17.Other Property

This is a potential gold mine if the Decedent collected fine arts, first editions, antiques, or valuable hobby related items. Many a mystery story has been written about the $10 painting really worth a million that people tried to make away with.

18.Debts

The Decedent had debts as follows:

Description:
Amount:
Contact:

Description:
Amount:
Contact:

You will hear from these people soon enough, as a rule.

19.Expenses and bills

The Decedent had unpaid expenses and bills as follows:

Expense:
Amount:
Contact:

Expense:
Amount:
Contact:

20.Tax Returns

The Decedent did file income tax returns for the most recent calendar year as follows:

Tax Return:
Year:

Previous Two Years

Tax Return:
Year:

Be sure you have copies on hand or get them.

21.Other Information

The following information may also be helpful in handling the Decedent's estate.

22.Your thoughts on the matter and the estate

Keep a running commentary about whether you think you have discovered all the assets, what the possibilities are, and what problems, if any, you foresee in doing your duties. A short journal is the best approach here.