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Checklists & Tools for Executor/ Administrator - Collecting Information & Documents of Asset

Distribution of assets of the deceased, which become part of his/her estate on the date of his/her death, is a crucial legal step. Successors become owners only after assets are lawfully transferred.

The task of distribution is assigned to duly appointed Executor/Administrator of the deceased. Such appointment is done by legal heirs by entering into unanimous agreement, OR by entry of Court Order.

Process of collecting assets, paying outstanding debts, and distributing net assets begins only after an individual or entity is duly appointed as Executor/Administrator.

The transfer process as well as powers, limitations, and accountability of Executor/Administrator are prescribed by statutory laws, which provide built-in protections to legal heirs to monitor the process and compliance with laws.

Fiduciary Role of an Executor/Administrator

Executor of valid and duly executed “Will” OR Administrator of the Estate of the Deceased, both have fiduciary duty towards the deceased as well as legal heirs.

It is a Duty of Loyalty and Duty of Care.

Duty of loyalty is acting for benefit of and in the best interest of legal heirs of the deceased.

Duty of Care is complying with applicable laws in distribution of assets of the deceased and rendering full and accurate accounting of all financial activities of the estate of the deceased undertaken by executor/administrator to all legal heirs for their review and approval.

This fiduciary duty entitles legal heirs to take civil and/or criminal action against executor/administrator for committing any breach of assigned duties.

It is helpful to maintain checklist/spreadsheet of all information and documents, prepare inventory, and log all financial activities conducted on behalf of the deceased.

Executor/Administrator is required by law to render full and accurate accounting of all actions taken or to be taken by him/her on behalf of the deceased to all legal heirs.

Legal heirs have a right to review all activities conducted on behalf of the deceased.

To begin, executor/administrator must contact all sources and collect supporting information and documentary evidence of assets and outstanding debts of the deceased.

The sources include family members, employers, service providers, professionals (lawyers, accountants, financial consultants, etc.), bankers, pension authorities, utility companies, municipal authorities, etc.

Assistance from legal professional having expertise in property transfer must be obtained and all applicable laws must be complied with.

Assets may consist of cash in hand, bank accounts, fixed deposits, investment accounts, Real Property (house, bldg., floor, apt., land), vehicles, jewelry, precious metals, business interests, shares, stocks, and bonds, etc. All assets must be accounted for.

Outstanding debts of the diseased may include personal loans, credit card debts, medical bills, utility bills, outstanding taxes, medical bills, funeral bills, etc.

Required Information

A. Personal Data of Deceased:

S. No. Particulars Responses

a. Full Legal Name

b. Any Other name used

c. Date of Birth

d. Place of Birth

e. Date of Death

f. Residential address at the time of death

g. Aadhar Card Number

h. Pan card Number

i. Marital Status at the time of Death

j. Number of surviving Children

k. Number of Deceased Children

l. Did Deceased leave behind any Will/codicil/Trust?

B. Family Data of Deceased:

S.No. Relationship Name, address, tel. &


i.. Surviving Spouse

ii. Surviving Child 1

iii. Surviving Child 2

iv. Surviving Child 3

v. Deceased Child 1

vi. Legal heirs of Deceased

Child 1

C. Data regarding Professionals Assisting Deceased:

Professionals Name, Address, Tel. No. &





Financial Consultant(s)

Pension Authorities


Business Associates


Required Supporting Documents

Assets, Liabilities, & Initial Documents

I. Initial Documents of Deceased

Documents Obtained

(Yes/No/Not Appl.)

Death Certificate

Aadhar Card

Pan Card

Income Tax Returns for last three years

Will Deed, Codicil, Trust

Agreement, etc.


II. Assets Owned by the Deceased on the Date of death:

S. No. Particulars Docs. Obtained

(Yes/No/Not Appl.)

1. Cash at Hand

At Residence Actual Cash

At Business Premises Actual Cash

Lockers/safe deposit boxes Actual Cash

2. Bank Accounts

Checking Accounts Passbook & Statement

Saving Accounts Passbook & Statement

Fixed Deposits Certificates of Deposit

& latest statement

3. Lockers/Safe Deposit Boxes Ownership Agreement

and keys

4. Real Estate/Properties


– House/floor/flat, etc. Title Deeds,

membership certificate

Rental Properties Title Deeds,

Membership Cert. &

Rental Agreement

Commercial Properties Title Deeds, Membership Cert. & Rental Agreement

Land – Agri./Non-Agri. Title Deeds, Leases &


5. Income Accounts

Pension Accounts Pension Order and

latest statement

Salary Statement and

Employer letter

Business Income Financial Statements

Profit Sharing Statements

6. Vehicles


boats/truck Title Documents

7. Business Interests

Sole Proprietorship Formation Documents

Corporation Incorporation Docs &

Share Certificates

Partnership Partnership Deed

8. Insurance

Life Insurance Policy

Health Insurance Policy

Auto Insurance Policy

9. Investment Accounts

Shares/Stocks Ownership Certificate

Bonds Ownership Certificate

Treasury notes/bills Ownership Certificate

Savings Bonds Ownership Certificate

10. Accounts Receivables

Money Owed by third parties

to the Deceased Agreement & Stmt. of

amount due

11. Precious metals & Art Objects

Jewelry Jewelry

Gold & Precious metals Gold & Precious


Art Objects Art Objects

Antiques Antiques

12. Others

Investments Ownership documents

Collections Objects

Money Judgments Court orders

Causes of actions Details

Patents Documents

Trademarks Documents

Copyrights Documents

III. Outstanding Debts of Deceased:

S. No. Particulars Documents Obt.

(Yes/No/Not Appl.)

1. Personal Loans

Creditor 1 Agreements & Stmt.

of amount due

Creditor 2 Agreements & Stmt.

of amount due

2. Credit Card Debts

Credit Card 1 Latest Statements

Credit Card 2 Latest Statements

3. Mortgage - Real Estate/property

Property 1 Agreement & stmt of

outstanding balance

Property 2 Agreement & stmt of outstanding balance

4. Home Equity Loan or Other

Lines of Credit Agreement & stmt of outstanding balance

5. Auto (car/van/truck etc.) Loans

Auto Loan 1 Agreement & stmt of outstanding balance

Auto Loan 2 Agreement & stmt of outstanding balance

6. Taxes Payable

Property Tax Tax Bill

Income Tax Tax Returns & Stmt.

from Income Tax Dept

7. Utility Bills

Electricity Electricity Bill

Water Water Bill

Telephone Telephone bills

Cable & Internet Cable & Internet bill

8. Unpaid Medical bills Medical Bills

9. Funeral Bills Funeral bills

10. Unpaid professional bills

Lawyer Billing statement

Accountant Billing Statement

Financial consultant Billing Statement

Others Billing Statements

11. Other liabilities and

amounts payable Billing Statements

After collecting all information and supporting documents, Executor/Administrator is required to make inventory of assets and liabilities, obtain valuation of assets, pay outstanding debts of the deceased, and calculate net assets for distribution. Copy of inventory of assets and liabilities must be provided to all legal heirs for their review and approval prior to distribution of assets of the deceased.

Author: Santosh K. Pawar is managing attorney of Law Firm of Santosh K. Pawar. She is licensed to practice in India and U.S. (state of New York), and specializes in NRI legal counseling and services besides US Immigration, Family Law, and Property Laws. For more information and assistance, contact by email at , call at (585) 264-1649 or WhatsApp at (585) 474-0935.


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