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In the wake of losing a loved one, grappling with the logistics of their assets and estate can be a daunting task. Understanding what constitutes an estate and how to navigate the process of obtaining deceased assets is crucial for both emotional closure and legal compliance. From financial accounts to tangible properties, an estate encompasses various assets, each requiring specific protocols for acquisition and distribution.

What assets can make up an estate?

An estate is the total sum of an individuals assets, obligation and liabilities present at their death. This means everything they own and everything they may owe. An estate can be comprised of both tangible and non tangible assets.

Property: Real estate holdings such as houses, land, and commercial properties form a significant part of many estates. These properties are assessed for their value and may need to go through the probate process before being distributed to beneficiaries.

Financial Accounts: Bank accounts, investment portfolios, retirement funds, and life insurance policies constitute the financial aspect of an estate. These assets often require documentation and verification to transfer ownership to designated beneficiaries.

Personal Belongings: Items such as jewellery, artwork, furniture, vehicles, and other personal effects are part of the deceased’s estate. While some items may hold sentimental value, others may have significant monetary worth and need appraisal for equitable distribution.

Business Interests: If the deceased owned a business or had interests in partnerships or corporations, these assets are also considered part of the estate. Valuing and transferring business assets may require professional expertise and negotiation with other stakeholders.

How to search for assets to an estate

The only we can recommend to search for assets to an estate is by using an heir hunting company, otherwise known as probate researchers. There are ways to perform this yourself when you may be close to the relative and know of their assets. However, the general public do not have the knowledge or means to be able to successfully locate and obtain all assets to an estate. Especially when they are not close with the relative.

Documents needed for claiming deceased assets

There are numerous practices that must be undertaken for each asset that requires obtaining. When it comes to obtaining bank account details you must contact every bank that the deceased may hold an account with. You must also have obtained a death certificate to prove the account holder has passed.

When it comes to claiming tangible assets from the property there must be a grant of probate taken out by the interested party before even entering the property. Because the property is an asset itself. To gain a grant of probate is a process upon itself. Only certain people can apply for a grant of probate. If there is a will only executors named in said will can apply. If there is no will then the closest living relative or a representative of that relative can apply.

The best option

The best course of action for such undertakings is by contacting an heir hunter (probate researcher). Claiming assets is no small task. It involves adept knowledge in the realm of inheritance and can take considerable lengths of time.  The requirement of certificates also poses a challenge to various aspects of estate management and obtaining them requires its own skills, contacts and know how. Overall, the expertise involved in claiming assets is beyond that of the average member of the public. Moreover, it will be prevalent for mistakes to be made and assets to be missed. For your own peace of mind, please contact us today to see how we can assist with your inheritance case.

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