Back to the Learning Center

By: Scott Grossman on September 12th, 2016

Missing Assets after Estate Administration: How it Happens

One of the more difficult tasks faced by personal representatives and trustees during an estate administration is to identify all of the assets. Unless your loved one left behind a detailed road map for you to follow, you may run into trouble identifying each asset.  The personal representative or trustee must investigate the assets. However, some assets are not as easy to identify, and missing assets after estate administration do occur after the estate is closed.

Missing Assets after Estate Administration:

In some cases, an asset is not discovered until after the estate or trust administration is already closed. You may have used your best efforts to discover all of the assets belonging to the trust. By reviewing tax records, sorting through your loved one’s files, and consulting with family members, most assets are uncovered. Regardless, there may still be assets that you missed. The following are five examples of how this can occur:

  1. Your loved one had a bank account that you never knew about.
  2. Someone that you were unaware of, owed your loved one money and they began paying back after the estate is closed.
  3. A personal object of your loved one that was in the possession of someone else is returned and the estate is closed
  4. An heir discovers stock certificates or old bonds that you were not aware of during the administration of the trust.
  5. The estate becomes entitled to a share of the damages issued as part of a lawsuit.

If you uncover an asset after the estate has been closed, you must act quickly and carefully. Fortunately—we can help.


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