When your loved one has passed on, you may be named as executor or (personal representative) of their estate. Losing a loved one is already difficult and acting as an executor entails certain responsibilities which can make this process even more arduous. Usually, the first step for a Personal Representative in probating an estate is to conduct an asset search to identify all the assets and liabilities of the decedent.  

Responsibilities of a Personal Representative (Executor)

Personal representatives have a fiduciary duty to gather all the assets and liabilities of the deceased person so that the beneficiaries and heirs of the estate receive what they are legally entitled to receive. An asset search can help you “satisfy your due diligence” regardless of the size of the estate. 

Types of Assets and Liabilities

Often when people die, their financial records are incomplete or missing. There may be trusts, real estate and business interests together with tangible personal property that a decedent has left behind that an asset search can readily find.

An asset search can uncover assets such as trusts, real property interests, deeds, deed transfers, partnerships, limited liability companies or LLC’s, subsidiaries, shell companies, and intellectual property such as patents, and trademarks. It can also discover boats, motorcycles, cars, and aircraft. Liabilities can include bankruptcies, mortgages, tax liens, judgements, and any other outstanding debt the estate may be liable for. 

An Executor’s Duty to Estate Beneficiaries

When a personal representative or executor is appointed to manage an estate, it is important to be completely transparent about the process. It is not uncommon for family members to fight or make accusations over an inheritance. If a personal representative or executor is less than transparent, suspicion among family members can lead to conflict or a will contest. Even if an overlooked asset was an honest mistake, family members might not see this way. This is even more critical if the executor is not a member of the family. Sometimes, beneficiaries may feel shut out by the personal representative, and may themselves want to conduct an asset search which happens frequently.

Conducting an asset search is a prudent first step and way to ensure that assets have been accounted for and the personal representative’s due diligence is satisfied with the family members and beneficiaries. An asset search can be conducted by hiring an asset search company such as Asset Search Plus, Inc at www.assetsearchesplus.com  usually takes only a day or so to complete. The cost is less than $ 200.00. 

As an executor or personal representative, you may be thinking you will need a lot of information about the decedent before you start an asset search, but thankfully, only a “name” and “last known address” is needed to conduct an asset search. 

At Asset Searches Plus, Inc., a nationwide asset search costs $185.00 for an individual subject and $165.00 for a corporate or business entity, and the turnaround time is usually less than two days. 

To access our “free guide” to conducting an asset search, click here. For more information on conducting an asset search, please call us at 1(800)290-1012 ext. 111 or visit our site at www.assetsearchesplus.com.