When an estate is probated, the executor or personal representative must complete an Inventory and Appraisal. This involves a complete listing of estate assets as of the decedent’s date of death. We often receive calls from individuals about how to complete probate inventory and appraisal forms. Below is a brief overview on how to complete the probate Inventory and Appraisal forms and attachments. Read on to learn more.

How to Complete Probate Inventory and Appraisal Form DE 160

Form DE 160 references the Inventory and Appraisal form. This form is used to serve as the representative’s personal declaration that the contents reflected on the attachments identify and include each and every asset of the decedent’s estate. The representative must precisely identify all contents of the estate, list their value, and the type of ownership held.

The first Inventory and Appraisal filing is usually the final. The referee will input values from the attachments and sign off on the form. The representative must file a bond with the court unless he/she can obtain a waiver.

“A People’s Choice was able to get the case back on track, preparing the Inventory and remaining documents required to successfully close the case.” F. Koehler
“Although I started the probate on my own, I quickly realized how complex the process was and decided I needed professional help.” F. Koehler

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How to Complete Probate Inventory and Appraisal Form DE 161 – Attachment 1 & 2

The representative must list all the decedent’s assets on Form DE 161. All property owned by the decedent at the time of death that is subject to California probate must be listed. The representative should be as descriptive as possible when listing real property. Attachment 1 of the Inventory and Appraisal form is used to list the estate’s money and cash. The following types of assets should be included in Attachment 1:

  • Cash held in checking, saving, brokerage, and money market accounts, provided the value does not fluctuate
  • Checks issued after the date of decedent’s death for wages
  • Life insurance policy and retirement account proceeds
  • Refund checks from the IRS, insurance companies, health care reimbursements or Medicare

The representative is required to list the dollar value of each item in the right column. The value indicated should be the same as the cash value as of the date of death, including accrued interest.

Attachment 2 of the Inventory and Appraisal form is used to identify all other types of property that belong to the decedent that was not listed on Attachment 1 which the referee must appraise. This includes the following type of assets:

  • Real property
  • Stocks, bonds, and securities
  • Vehicles
  • Partnership and business interests
  • Household furniture
  • Antiques

The detail and requirements that must be provided for each type of asset will vary dramatically. For example, for real property assets, the representative should include the assessor parcel number and full legal description and any mortgages secured by real property. The type of ownership the decedent held must be clearly listed. For example, the decedent may hold separate, community or quasi community property.  Savings bonds require such detail as the issuance date, face value, maturity date, bond number and type. The representative should list all items in which the monetary value has been determined. A blank space can be left if the value is unknown.

When contemplating how to complete probate Inventory and Appraisal documents, it is important to keep in mind that this process carries significant importance in the probate process. The professional help of an experienced probate legal document assistant can make sure your Inventory and Appraisal is complete, correct and timely processed with the court.

Contact A People’s Choice for more information on how to complete probate Inventory and Appraisal forms. In addition to completing the inventory and appraisal, we offer full-service probate document preparation and processing to make it easy for people to complete the probate process without having to spend thousands of dollars in legal fees.

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