The settlement of a decedent’s estate involves numerous activities. When a person is appointed as the Administrator or Executor of an estate, one of the most important fiduciary duties is to locate and collect the assets that were owned by the decedent. In some estates this task can be uncomplicated. If the decedent owned bank accounts, real estate or funds in a financial institution which the Executor or Administrator was aware of, the various forms and transfer papers can be prepared to facilitate the liquidation and collection of the assets.
However, there are many estates where the identification and collection of estate assets is not so clear or simple. There may be many difference issues that can delay or prevent recovery. To begin with, it may be difficult to locate or identify estate property. The decedent may have kept poor or confusing records. Also, some assets may be held in on-line accounts or in the name of corporations or other entities in which the decedent had an interest.
Additionally, even where assets can be located, there may be disputes with third parties regarding ownership. The New York Probate Lawyer Blog has posted a number of articles regarding the recovery of a decedent’s assets.