Asset File Import

If you already have a spreadsheet listing estate assets, you may be able to save time by importing that list into EstateExec (rather than manually retyping everything).

Screen capture of dialog for handling asset list imports

Background

You can use the Advanced | Import button (found at the top of the Assets table) to automatically list assets described in an existing CSV file.

This feature is particularly helpful for professionals that repeatedly deal with multiple estates and numerous assets. However, if your list is in an unsupported format (e.g., Word, PDF), is somewhat unstructured (e.g., the value is embedded in the text rather than having its own column), or is not perfectly regular (e.g., some assets have extra cells), then it may be more work to try to "automatically" import the file than to simply enter the assets by hand. If you are unsure, we recommend trying the automated import to see if it gives you what you want with minimal effort, and if things start to get confusing or require significant formatting work, then switch gears and simply enter the assets manually.

Required File Format (CSV)

EstateExec can import from files in CSV (Comma Separated Value) format. A CSV file consists of multiple lines (one per asset), with each asset field separated from the next by a comma. Ideally, the file has a header row that helps explain the meaning of the properties. Here's what a sample file might look like:

Asset,Type,Value At Death,Value Now,Notes
AT&T Stock,Stocks,$9,000.00,,300 shares
Diamond Necklace,Jewelry,$12,000.00,$12,000.00,Samantha always loved this necklace
Ford Taurus,Vehicle,$4,000.00,$3,500.00,"2015, 35K miles"
Savings Account,Deposit Account,$18,500.00,$18,750.00

Some things to note about the above sample:

  • It's helpful to have a header row (see first line), but it's not necessary
  • If you don't have a value for an asset's field, just skip it (but remember you still need the comma - see AT&T Stock Value Now)
  • If you want to include a comma in an asset, you can just put quotes around that field (see Ford Taurus Notes)

If your file is in a format for a spreadsheet program (e.g., Excel), you can export the contents into a CSV file via the spreadsheet program's Save As function, selecting file type CSV. Note that when you do this, your file must only contain data in the format described above. A header row is helpful, but you must delete any title rows, extraneous notes on the side, extra tabs, and so forth. Your goal is to export a file that contains only a header row (optional), and one row per asset.

Import Process

To add assets from a file into the Assets table:

  1. Start: Click Import from the Advanced dropdown button at the top of the Assets table
  2. Select File: Click Select File from the dialog that appears, and the select the file from the Open File dialog that appears
  3. Assign Column Meanings: A Describe File dialog will appear, containing the analyzed contents of your file (similar to that shown at the top of this page). In the first row of the table, select the meaning for each column (e.g., Value at Death). If your file has a header row, EstateExec will have attempted to make some default selections for you, which you can override as necessary.
  4. Correct Problems: Once a meaning is defined for a column, cells that appear problematic will be highlighted in pink. For example, if you say that a column contains Value at Death, but a cell contains something other than a number, it will be shown in pink. You can click (or double-click) on a cell to edit it so you can correct any problems, or you can ignore it (and EstateExec will do its best, often simply ignoring that value).
  5. Import the Assets: When everything is configured the way you want, press the Import button at the bottom of the dialog to add the described assets to the estate.
  6. Save: If you are happy with the import, press Save All to save the newly defined assets. Or if you don't like the way it turned out, you can instead press Cancel All and try something different.

Location

Sometimes you may have an address or a point of contact associated with an asset (e.g., City, Phone, Street Address).

EstateExec organizes all estate contacts in the Executor | Contacts table. If you import location details with an asset, EstateExec will create a new Contact for the asset (or reuse a matching Contact you have already defined).

If you include a "Location" field (in addition to fields such as City, State, etc.), that Location field will define the Name of the Contact (e.g., Mom's House, Bank of America, Storage Shed). It is not necessary to duplicate all of the associated contact information every time you reference a Location by name.

If you include location information but do not provide an actual Location name, then EstateExec will make one up for you. If desired, you can change this later by editing the created Contact. If you include location information for an asset, but the Location name has already been used along with different location details, EstateExec will make up a new name for the new Location.

Other Import Tips

Ideally, everything will go smoothly, and you'll never have to read this section. But just in case...

  • If you are trying to import the Type of an asset (e.g., Stock, Deposit Account), the word must match the EstateExec type name EXACTLY
  • If you're having problems getting the values of a field to be acceptable (i.e., not show in pink), you may simply want to set the column assignment to blank, and manually deal with it once the asset has been imported into EstateExec
  • It's usually not a good idea to try to import the estate account as an asset: the balance/value must be internally derived from the transactions recorded in EstateExec, so the import will ignore any balance/value the file tries to assign. In addition, there can be only one estate account (including any you may already have defined).
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