The State of California has hundreds of “Judicial Council” forms (forms that are adopted for universal use in courts within all 58 counties in California). These forms are broken into many major groups such as family law, civil, small claims, probate, criminal and more. An Inventory and Appraisal is both a process of listing estate assets for a formal valuation and a group of forms used typically in Probate, Conservatorship, and Guardianship cases within California.

Inventory and Appraisal – The Process

In Probate proceedings the Inventory and Appraisal is used to determine the value of an estate as to the date of the decedent’s death. The majority of probate cases require this appraisal completed, whereas guardianships and conservatorships only require it if the case includes an estate. The process can include several parties to complete the inventory and appraisal including the petitioner, their legal representative, a professional legal document preparer and the “Probate Referee”. A probate referee is an appraiser who is appointed through the State of California and assigned to one or more counties to perform court ordered estate appraisals. Learn more about Probate Referees here. Once the probate referee has valued the assets of the estate, the inventory and appraisal documents can be filed at the court. In some cases when additional assets are discovered, there may be more than one inventory and appraisal filed.

Inventory and Appraisal – The Forms

To complete the inventory and appraisal, the probate referee must be provided with the forms to value the estate, unless all the assets have a certain value. The documents must first be complete with a list of the assets and descriptions prior to the probate referee’s appraisal. The probate referee is not responsible for completing the forms, but rather appraising the items listed on the forms. Common assets on the appraisal forms are real estate, vehicles, household goods and financial accounts. Most probate referees typically have the appraisal completed within a few weeks. After completion, the documents are filed at the court.

If you need help completing inventory and appraisal documents we can assist. The documents must follow very specific guidelines when listing assets. We have been completing inventory and appraisal documents and have been working with probate referees across the state since 1996. Furthermore, we are bonded and registered legal document assistants which is a requirement of the state of California. Don’t waste time and money completing documents inaccurately, let our professional team help.