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How to Assess the Value of Personal Property for Probate

We’ll explain how to determine the value of personal items that must go through probate in California.

Posted on October 9, 2021 by Alex Gauthier
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When someone passes away, they leave behind not just loving memories and grieving friends and families, but also many personal items that need to be dealt with. We’ll explain how to determine the value of personal items that must go through probate in California.

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What Assets Are Considered Personal Items During Probate?

Personal items include any household goods, such as jewelry, clothes, artwork, electronics such as laptops and stereo systems, furniture, books, and memorabilia. These items, along with other individually held assets such as vehicles, real estate, bank accounts, investment accounts, stocks, and bonds must be listed, with their value presented to the probate court.

How to Value Personal Items for Probate?

Asset values for probate purposes take on the valuation at the time of death. For example, for something like real estate, this would be the market value at the time your loved one passed away. For personal items, the probate court expects a reasonable estimate of what the item would bring on the open market.

In California, you must file an appraisal and inventory for the state probate court. The inventory and appraisal document includes all items left behind in the decedent's estate and the value of each item (California Probate Code § 8800(a).)

According to the law, you have up to four months to file this form. If there is an estate executor, they are the person to file the form. You can request an extension prior to the deadline if needed.

Supplemental inventories are also available if you learn of property that wasn't included in the first inventory and appraisal document. You have four months to include any forgotten items starting from the date that you learned about them.

ClearEstate can help you navigate the probate process, including compiling an inventory of assets and helping you determine their value. Reach out today.