If you are a beneficiary, heir, creditor, or even a personal representative involved in a Florida probate case, you may have questions about the inventory of the probate estate. The inventory is one of the most important responsibilities of a personal representative. Essentially, the inventory is the list of all the assets that are included in the probate estate in a formal probate administration. The inventory is included so that the beneficiaries of a will or the heirs of a decedent’s (person who died) estate know what is included the probate estate. This promotes transparency for the personal representative’s responsibilities in the probate process between the personal representative and interested persons in the estate.
What needs to be included in the inventory?
The instructions and details that need to be included in an inventory are set out in section 733.604, Florida Statutes and Florida Probate Rule 5.340. Under Florida Probate Rule 5.340, the inventory must be filed by the personal representative within 60 days after the court issues letters of administration naming the personal representative in the case.
The inventory must provide a list of all assets of the probate estate and the estimated fair market value at the time of the decedent’s death for each asset. The inventory must be verified by the personal representative. A verification means that the personal representative is swearing that the contents included in the inventory are true to the best of his or her knowledge. Upon request by an interested person, the personal representative must provide a description of how the fair market value of each asset was calculated. If real property qualifies as exempt homestead property, the property must still be included in the inventory and must be identified as exempt homestead property.
Finally, under section 733.604(b), Florida Statutes, an inventory filed in a Florida probate estate is exempt from disclosure under the public records laws in the state of Florida. For more information on the privacy of Florida probate records, please see our previous blog post Privacy and Probate.
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As you can see, the inventory is an important part of any formal probate administration in Florida. If you are named as a personal representative in a will and need to start probate for a loved one, contact us today for a free consultation. If you are an interested person in a Florida probate case and are concerned about an inventory that was filed, contact our firm today to schedule a free consultation.