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Ease estate administration by making a personal inventory

9/1/2016 | Kaplin Stewart Blog

All Pennsylvania residents are aware that the purpose of creating a comprehensive estate plan is to provide a means for handing down wealth and possessions to loved ones who will be left behind. In structuring an estate plan, there are a number of options available, and a solution for virtually every set of needs. When it comes to easing the estate administration process, individuals should place themselves in the position of the party or parties who will be tasked with handling this important role.

Distributing assets and items of personal property can be stressful if the estate administrator is unsure of the full extent of those assets. For example, if a father has handed estate administration duties to his eldest son, that also places a heavy burden of responsibility upon his shoulders. When the time comes, the son will be expected to handle the transfer of assets and property to the intended heirs. However, if he is uncertain of exactly what is held and to whom each item should be distributed, stress and anxiety can result.

The best way to address this issue is by taking a full inventory of all items of personal property, and including that inventory within the estate planning package. This includes items both large and small, as many seemingly invaluable items of personal property hold great emotional value for loved ones. In addition, it is equally important to review this inventory on an annual basis. Over time, property is acquired, lost, destroyed or sold. Having an up-to-date inventory is important.

By taking this step, Pennsylvania residents can ensure that estate administration is as easy as possible. During a time of loss, loved ones should feel confident that they will be able to carry out the tasks that are asked of them. An inventory of personal property is a great way to accomplish that goal.

Source:, “7 Things Your Estate Planner Wants You to Know Before You Die“, Jamie Wiebe, Aug. 29, 2016