An inventory is a list of the contents of a house or storage unit, with a value assigned to each item or group of items. When a person dies and their estate is probated, the court requires the Executor or Administrator of the estate to file a list of the decedent’s assets. In Ohio there is a specific probate form titled “Inventory & Appraisal”, (“I&A”). The I&A is a list of all the assets of the decedent, including real estate, bank accounts, stocks, motor vehicles, and the contents of a house, barn, or storage unit. Most of the time the Executor or Administrator estimates the value of the contents of the house or storage unit, but in certain circumstances a professional inventory is necessary. Those circumstances include disputes among the heirs as to the value of the contents or specific items; valuation for estate tax purposes; and high value items such as antiques, collectibles, coins, jewelry, etc. Another situation that we often run across is that the Executor has no idea what is in the house/barn/storage unit – especially the storage unit which is usually packed full of boxes – and needs someone to go thru all of it.
If you need an inventory, we start by viewing the house/barn/storage unit and talking with you about what type of inventory you need (specific items only, whole house, etc.). We will then give you an estimate of how long it will take and our fee for the inventory.
The final inventory will include an itemized list and valuation of the contents by room or area (i.e., living room, southeast corner of attic, etc.), and photographs of the contents. All boxes will be numbered, with a corresponding entry on the final inventory so that you can easily find specific items (e.g., comic book collection is in box 13 in the front bedroom closet). We will also provide both you and the attorney for the estate with a signed copy of the final inventory, and make arrangements with the attorney to sign the Probate Court Inventory & Appraisal, (required in Ohio).
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