Discovering undisclosed assets when a loved one passes away

On Behalf of | Dec 18, 2019 | Probate And Estate Administration

When a loved one passes away in Nevada, family members, beneficiaries and the executor of the estate may be concerned about how they can find all of the property that belonged to the deceased person’s estate. In some cases, assets are found years after a person’s estate has gone through probate. Some people do not leave behind comprehensive lists of their property, organized documentation or guides to their assets, passwords and other information. The executor may not be intimately aware of the person’s financial details, so there may be some additional work needed to uncover hidden property.

Executors going through the estate administration process can often benefit from checking the county clerk’s or assessor’s website where names and addresses of properties can be searched. If the person who passed away may have real estate assets, this can be a good way to find them. People can also use the Geographical Information System to search for real estate that may be owned by a decedent. With access to the person’s tax returns, people may be able to find other relevant information. Investment companies and others generally issue 1099 forms, so people can look at the banks and other firms that provided these documents to find accounts that need to be distributed.

By reviewing several years of tax returns, an executor may find more information about potential accounts and other assets. State unclaimed property registries can also be a valuable source of information. In some cases, people may wind up writing letters to financial institutions where an account seems likely.

Individuals can avoid passing on probate problems after death by creating a comprehensive list of assets for their executor to use. An estate planning attorney may advise on drafting wills, trusts and other documents, including how to best convey information about the assets involved.