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The Inventory, Appraisement, and List of Claims

After you have collected all of the estate’s property, you must prepare and execute an Inventory, Appraisement, and List of Claims (the “Inventory”).

What is the Inventory, Appraisement and List of Claims?

The Inventory contains a listing of the decedent's real property located in the state of Texas. It also includes a listing of the decedent's personal property, both tangible and intangible, wherever it is located if the Decedent was a resident of the state of Texas.

The Appraisement is an accurate valuation for each item listed on the Inventory as of the date of death.

The List of Claims is a listing of rights to payment that are due to the estate. A common example of a claim would be a promissory note owned by the decedent whereby the decedent has the right to collect payments from a debtor. Another example would be if the decedent had a tort claim against a third party for damages resulting from a motor vehicle accident. If the decedent had any ongoing lawsuits or potential lawsuits against someone else, the lawsuits would be included in the List of Claims section of the Inventory.

Real Property in the State of Texas

The Inventory does not include any real estate that is located outside of the state of Texas. A Texas court does not have jurisdiction over the land of another state. The land is the essence of what it means to be a state. Therefore, do not list real property belonging to the estate that is located in other states.

No Debts are Listed on the Inventory

The Inventory is an asset list. Clients often want to note the decedent's debts on the Inventory. This is not surprising as the terms "List of Claims" sounds like a list of debts. Furthermore, if the point of the Inventory is to inform the beneficiaries and the creditors about the nature of the estate, then a listing of the debts would help clarify the true value of the estate. Nevertheless, the courts have been very clear that they do not want debts listed on the Inventory and will reject any Inventory that attempts to list the debts of the Estate.

Values Listed are as of Date of Death

The values listed on the Inventory are as of the date of death. Again, Clients always want to put down the value of the account or asset as of the date they were appointed or the date the executor took control over the asset. After all, it is irrelevant to the beneficiaries if the account was worth X number of dollars on the date of death when the account is now only worth Y dollars. Nevertheless, the law is clear that the assets are valued as of the date of death.

Filing vs. Distributing the Inventory to the Heirs

There are two options on what to do with the Inventory once executed before a Notary:

1. You can return the executed Inventory to my office and we will file it with the Court. Once the Inventory is approved, the Court will issue an Order Approving Inventory.

2. If there are no debts owed by the Estate, you may deliver a copy of the executed Inventory to each beneficiary of the Estate. You can then execute an Affidavit in Lieu of Inventory and return it to my office. We will then file the Affidavit with the Court. The Court will not issue any Order in response to the Affidavit.

When is the Inventory Due?

The Inventory or the Affidavit must be filed with the Court within 90 days after the issuance of Letters.

What is the penalty for not filing the Inventory?

Failure to file the Inventory or Affidavit in Lieu of Inventory can result in a $1,000 fine and/or your removal as the executor.