If you are the executor or administrator of an estate, taking account of the assets of a recently deceased loved one can get very complicated. Moving residences prior to death or incomplete financial records can mean hidden assets where you, as the executor, might not expect them.
As an executor, you are undoubtedly aware of the obvious assets — for instance, belongings, savings, and investments. But even within these categories, there are assets for which you may not have accounted. For instance, did the deceased receive pension from CPP/QPP? If so, the estate may be eligible for a one-time payment from CPP — but it must be applied for. Another thing to consider is whether there are any loans owed to the deceased. Staying aware of possible hidden assets could mean a positive inflow of cash despite the difficult time that is surely ahead for you and your family.
There may also exist some assets related to the obvious ones. The deceased may have held property — but how much? Did he or she have property in another city? another province or state? overseas? etc. He or she may have had investments — where? Are they documented? Be thorough in your investigations.
Finally, be aware that there may be hidden value in assets that may seem ordinary, or that may not occur to you as assets at all. Check the pockets of all the deceased’s clothing, look in closets and on shelves, and be sure to account for anything that may be worth something.
Finally, as an executor, finding monetary value in objects is a good practice — but there are any number of ways to find value in the belongings and assets of your loved one. The process of accounting for assets may be beneficial to an executor in more ways than one.
It (and other titles dealing with wills and estates) is available in our Web store where you can preview the contents.