Colorado Probate Blog - Wade Ash Woods Hill & Farley, P.C.

1 minute reading time (258 words)

Elusive Assets After Death

Aubrey McClendon, a co-founder of Chesapeak Energy Corp. and a pioneer in the shale industry, died on March 2, 2016. Mr. McClendon had significant assets yet his estate appears to be insolvent. Creditor claims filed to date exceed $1.1 billion. Mr. McClendon’s business holdings were complex and the estate has had a hard time selling assets.

While Mr. McClendon’s story is one of the biggest probate cases in the history of the United States, a key takeaway for everyone is to make sure that a full listing of assets is easily accessible to the individuals who will be handling your affairs. If assets are inaccessible for a surviving spouse or children, this will not only cause delay but also very likely additional costs in finding elusive assets.

In this day and age, a Family Financial Questionnaire, or similar type document, should be used to provide a roadmap so that your personal representative can know where accounts are held, the account numbers, and online passwords. Without this information, hardship may occur to your family.

People are often too afraid to write down this sensitive information, but they should do so and keep it up to date. The Family Financial Questionnaire should be stored in a fire proof safe at home, a safe deposit box at the bank, or somewhere else that you feel is secure. The key is to find a location that is secure but accessible to the key people in your life who will depend upon these funds to go on with their lives after your death.

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