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Can there be an objection to the inventory of your loved one's estate?

If you have objections to the way an executor is appraising your loved one’s estate, you have the right to object.

Can beneficiaries object to inventory of an estate

When a loved one passes, the process of going through their possessions and listing and appraising them for the probate process can feel invasive and heartbreaking. But this task is an important responsibility of the estate executor, who needs to figure out exactly how big the estate is in order to properly pay off debts and fees and distribute inheritances according to the deceased’s will.

Nonetheless, as a beneficiary, there may be a moment where you feel that the inventory of the estate is faulty. Perhaps you feel like the estate executor missed something, or perhaps you believe that something that’s actually yours is being counted as part of your loved one’s estate instead. Either way, that’s not a nice feeling to have, and it’s natural to wonder what you can do about it.

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You have the right to object

The good news is that you, as a beneficiary, absolutely have the right to speak up. In fact, you have many rights, including the right to receive a detailed report on all the spending being done on the estate’s behalf and the right to object on what’s going on during probate.

An important step of the probate process consists of having the estate executor send over a detailed inventory and appraisal of all the assets that belonged to your loved one. These assets will determine the value of the estate, which will in turn determine how much of an inheritance you receive. If you think something is wrong with the inventory, then you have the right to object.

In order to make your objection known, you’ll have to file a petition with the New York Surrogate’s Court, which then triggers an investigation into the finances of the estate. Making this move can often be time-consuming and expensive, especially when lawyers get involved. It can also lead to a lot of conflict between you, other beneficiaries, and the executor.

In order to save everyone as much money and time as possible, we recommend trying some good old-fashioned communication first. If you spot a mistake or inconsistency, bring it up with the executor. Chances are, they were acting in good faith and are thankful for your input.

In order to keep such things from happening in the first place, we recommend placing a premium on consistent, transparent communication. ClearEstate’s Beneficiary Portal lets you do just that: Beneficiaries can view the progress of the settlement, receive a summary of what assets they’re entitled to, and keep detailed records of all communications, every step of the way.

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