See Taking Inventory for a definition of "asset", and some overall advice.
List Existing Asset
To record the existence of an asset that was part of the estate at time of death,
- Click the "Create Asset" button on the Assets tab, causing a new row to appear at the top of the table (below the filter cells in the table header).
- Click each cell of the new row and enter whatever information you have (see note below about Value Now).
- As always, whenever you want to save your changes, click the "Save All" button in the top right corner.
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): see Asset File Import.
Purchase New Asset
To record the existence of a new asset that was purchased by the estate after the decedent's death,
- Click the "Purchase" button on the Assets tab.
- In the Transaction dialog that appears, entered the requested purchase information and press OK.
- In the new asset's table row that was created (initially the top row in the table), click each cell and enter whatever information you have (ignore the Sold and Distributed cells for now).
Note that since a purchased asset was not part of the estate at time of death, it has no Value at Death. To see the original purchase value of a purchased asset, select the asset row (by clicking its checkmark in the leftmost column), and press the "Purchase" button to see the original purchase transaction.
Open Estate Account
As you work through the settlement process, you will usually open an estate account to handle income, expenses, monetary distributions, and general transactions while you manage the estate. Once you have opened the account at a bank, simply create the account as an asset on the Assets Tab, setting its type to be "Estate Account". See also Manage Estate Cash.
Assets Table Notes
Here are a few helpful things to know about the Assets table:
- Optional Columns: Like all EstateExec tables, you can choose which columns to display using the menu in the top right of the table. Not all columns are displayed by default.
- Allocated: Once you allocate an asset for distribution, the value of the allocation will appear in gray text in the Distributed column. This amount will not be included in the total summary at the bottom of the column, but is just there to remind you that you have a plan for that asset.
- Account: Some assets have an associated Account ID (such as brokerage account). You can optionally choose to display an Account column by checking "Account" in the menu in the top right of the table.
- Cost Basis: The cost basis of an asset is usually estimated by EstateExec using the other information you have provided, but you can manually set this value via the Cost Basis button along the top of the Assets table (see Manage Asset Cost Basis). You can also choose to display a Cost Basis column in the Assets table via the menu in the top right of the table (simply check Cost Basis to have its column appear).
- Distributed: Once you indicate that a distribution has actually occurred (by marking it done), that amount will be included in the total summary at the bottom of the Distributed column, and the asset's Value Now column will show only any remaining undistributed value. If any defined distributions for an asset remain undone, the asset's Distributed number will show in gray, with only the actual distributed amounts contributing to the summary at the bottom of the column. If you want to really examine the details of a complex multiple distribution of a given asset, you can click on the asset's Distributed cell, or go to the Distributed tab and filter the table just to show that asset's distributions.
- Plan: A place for you to record your intentions for each asset (sell or distribute) as you begin to figure out your overall Asset Disposition plan. While it may be helpful to your planning process to enter this information, it is not required, and EstateExec will automatically do it for you as you actually sell or create distributions for each asset.
- Probate: Identifies whether the asset is subject to probate. This column is not shown by default, but you can make it visible by checking "Probate" in the menu in the top right of the table. EstateExec automatically determines whether an asset would normally be subject to probate based upon the asset type, but it is not unusual for this to vary. You can override the default by clicking the asset's probate table cell.
- Sold: Once you sell an asset, its "Value Now" will become blank (since it no longer has any value to the estate), and instead the amount for which you sold it will appear in the "Sold" column. A corresponding transaction will appear in the Cashflow tab, indicating a deposit for the sale amount into the estate account.
- Type: Information about the various "Types" is available in Asset Types. Note that automated cost basis calculations rely on an asset's "Type", so it's important to assign these properly.
- Value at Death: You may not know an asset's value when you first create the asset in the table, so you can leave the "Value at Death" field blank or make an educated guess. Once you know the value, whether through your own research, a professional appraisal, or having actually sold the asset, be sure to enter the "Value at Death", which will be important for tax purposes (see also Determining Asset Value). Note that purchased assets do not have a value at death (see Purchase New Asset above).
- Value Now: When you first enter the "Value at Death", it will automatically populate the "Value Now" field. It's not important to keep the "Value Now" field frequently updated, but you can change it whenever you like, and EstateExec will keep a record of these changes on the Cashflow tab. Note that if you sell an asset, you can simply enter the net sales price in the Transaction dialog without bothering to first update the Value Now of the asset.
See also Using Tables for an illustration of many things you can do with EstateExec tables in general.