Administration of Estate: Information the Executor Must Gather

The administration of an estate requires that all of a decedent’s assets and possessions be identified, inventoried and distributed to the decedent’s creditors and beneficiaries. This job, which is handled by the executor of the estate, requires obtaining detailed information about the decedent, including personal information, financial information, work history and more.

An Ohio probate attorney can be of great help because he or she will know what kind of information should be gathered to ensure that all assets are identified and distributed appropriately. The list of information and documents below will aid in the administration of an estate for an executor who does not have the help of an attorney. It can also help the testator of a will to know what information to include with his or her will to make their executor’s job easier.

Administration of Estate: Information and Documents to Gather

Decedent’s personal information to be gathered by the executor of the estate:

  • All variations of the decedent’s name
  • Name of spouse
  • Death certificate
  • City and state where death occurred
  • Cause of death
  • Last residence of decedent and surviving spouse
  • Addresses where decedent last received mail
  • Social security numbers for decedent and spouse
  • Employment history of decedent, including employer’s name, address and phone number (for identifying employer death benefits, pension, etc.)
  • Powers of attorney or agencies related to title of the decedent’s assets
  • If spouse preceded decedent’s death, information regarding date of death, probate court and case number of estate, death certificate, etc.
  • Marital history of decedent, including names of previous spouses and dates of marriages and divorces

Information to be gathered pertaining to administration of estate:

  • Decedent’s will and codicils
  • Trust documents
  • Information regarding prior wills in event that current will is contested
  • Name of proposed estate representative or executor of estate if other than surviving spouse
  • Address of proposed estate representative or executor of estate
  • Home and work phone numbers for proposed estate representative/executor
  • Complete application for fiduciary bond for estate representative/executor
  • Change of mailing address for decedent’s mail to be directed to representative or attorney for the estate
  • Names, addresses, ages and social security numbers for heirs at law under state law (for notification purposes) along with relationship to decedent
  • Names, addresses, ages and social security numbers for beneficiaries named in will, along with relationship to decedent
  • Name, address and phone number decedent’s Ohio probate attorney or estate planning attorney

Financial information to be gathered for administration of estate:

  • Location of bank safety deposit boxes & keys for deposit boxes
  • Names of joint owners of deposit boxes
  • Information regarding last access to deposit boxes, including date of access, who accessed the boxes and what contents were removed
  • Contact information for decedent’s accountant, stockbroker and financial advisor
  • Insurance policies on life of decedent or on life of other individuals owned by decedent
  • Insurance policies on real estate and property of decedent
  • Income tax returns (federal, state and local) for past five years
  • Gift tax returns
  • Investment and benefits documents, including stock certificates, IRA contracts and statements, pension/retirement benefits contracts, Social Security and veteran’s benefits information
  • Banking and brokerage information, including the most recent statements, account registers and ledgers
  • Deeds to all real estate decedent had an interest in
  • Mortgage documents and statements
  • Recent appraisal information, if available
  • Location and identity of all other property owned by decedent, along with estimated values
  • Business documents, including formation documents, tax returns, stock purchase and buy/sell agreements, business-owned life insurance
  • Debts of decedent, including creditors, funeral and burial expenses, tax liens, pending tax assessments, spousal maintenance obligations, child support obligations, encumbrances on real estate, secured debts, unsecured debts, and Medicaid payment recovery (if applicable) information

Other legal documents and information to be gathered for administration of estate:

  • Court documents, judgments and orders regarding divorce, dissolution or legal separation
  • Child support judgments and orders
  • Ante nuptial agreement
  • Powers of appointment
  • Documents and information pertaining to any pending insurance claims or settlements, legal actions, and/or administrative actions

In Ohio, the probate attorney’s office of Gudorf Law Group, LLC, can assist executors in the administration of an estate. Call our office at 1-877-483-6730 to schedule a free consultation regarding administration of an estate.