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By: Scott Grossman on July 19th, 2017

The California Probate Inventory and Appraisal Form Explained

After a Schedule of Assets Comes the Inventory and Appraisal From.

First of all, in previous articles, we clarified what the Schedule of Assets was for, but before the inventory and appraisal form. Briefly, the Schedule of Assets is a tool that the personal representative uses to list all of the decedent’s assets, mentioning precisely their identification, value, type, and share of ownership. Also, In a separate column, the representative points out whether each property is subject to probate or not. Consequently, at this stage, everything that is not yet known is left blank because the document is an internal work tool.

However, no later than four months after letters have been issued, the personal representative must file the inventory of the probate assets with the California probate court, and he or she will do this using the Inventory and Appraisal Form.

What is an Inventory and Appraisal Form?

The probate assets in this form are just like ones within the Schedule of Assets. As a result, the representative will remove any doubts by completing the asset description:

  • If the decedent owned only a part of some property, the description should include a statement like “one-half interest in promissory note…” or “one-quarter interest in real property located at….” This will give the probate referee a clear indication as to the values allocated to the decedent’s estate. 
  • Only property subject to California probate should be listed, and only those that were owned at the time of death. 
  • The description of real property needs to be legal and very detailed. The representative will include the assessor’s parcel number, which is marked on the property tax bill. 
  • If a mortgage loan is secured by real property, the representative will mention a recording reference. If it is not recorded, he or she should consult an attorney. 
  • The type of ownership, if community, quasi-community, or separate property of the decedent. Community property that passes to the surviving spouse or partner does not have to be probated and should be listed only if the surviving spouse or partner so wishes, or if the decedent’s one-half interest is destined in the will to someone other than the surviving partner or spouse.

Assets go on a Different Attachment.

Especially relevant is that all the probated assets are listed on separate attachments attached to the first page. In addition, the first attachment lists property with a known monetary value, established by the personal representative. Furthermore, the representative lists on the second attachment the assets which the probate referee will appraise.

If you are ready to start your case, then please give us a call or fill out our Get Help Now form.  If you want a comprehensive overview of California Probate, then click here. If you have more questions about trust litigation, then you will find plenty of useful information in our Learning Center.