As someone dealing with matters of the estate in California, you will simultaneously be dealing with someone else's assets. But what exactly are the assets you're meant to handle? How do you know what is or isn't an asset, and how do you distribute said assets?
FindLaw defines an asset as an item of property that's owned by someone. When you're dealing with someone else's assets, it means you'll likely be handling any or all of the following:
- All forms of money, including bank accounts and retirement funds
- All forms of residential property, including vacation homes and houses
- All forms of material possessions, like keepsakes and memorial tokens
- Expensive physical possessions like cars, jewelry, and artwork
Everything that a person legally owns, including money, is considered to be part of their assets. It can get a little tricky when you start working with money itself. The handling of bank accounts, savings accounts, retirement funds, insurance policies and so on can involve complex litigation. Likewise, it can be a complex issue to decide what to do with stocks, bonds, or businesses after a person has passed away.
Fortunately, you will likely be making the calls based on your loved one's will. This document should give you an idea of where they wish for their possessions to go. Your primary job will likely be to ensure that their assets are distributed in accordance with their will.
However, distribution of assets can still be a tough burden to carry alone. For this reason, you may wish to consider contacting an experienced attorney for assistance.