Inventory Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Inventory, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Inventory?

The assets of a person at death.

History and Meaning of Inventory

The term inventory in this context refers to the assets of a person at their time of death. This could include personal property such as jewelry, artwork, and furniture, as well as financial assets like bank accounts, stocks, and bonds. Inventory is often a part of the probate process, which is the legal process of administering a deceased person's estate.

During probate, an executor or administrator is responsible for identifying and determining the value of the decedent's assets, including inventory. This information is then used to pay off any outstanding debts or taxes and distribute the remaining assets to the decedent's beneficiaries according to their will or state law.

Examples of Inventory

  1. When John passed away, his executor was responsible for creating an inventory of his assets, which included his bank accounts, retirement accounts, and his house.
  2. During the probate process, the court required an inventory of the deceased's assets, which included a list of all his personal property and financial accounts.
  3. The attorney advised the executor to present a comprehensive inventory of the deceased's assets to the probate court in order to ensure the process could move forward.

Legal Terms Similar to Inventory

  1. Estate: The assets and liabilities of a deceased person that are subject to probate.
  2. Administration: The process of managing and distributing the assets of a deceased person's estate.
  3. Probate: The legal process by which a deceased person's estate is settled and their assets distributed to their beneficiaries.
  4. Executor: The person appointed to manage the estate of a deceased person, including creating an inventory and distributing the assets according to their will.
  5. Beneficiary: A person who inherits assets from a deceased person's estate according to their will or state law.