Within one to four months (depending on the particular state) after the executor has been appointed, he is required by law to file a "complete" inventory of the estate's assets. A Florida Probate Inventory is required to be filed within 120 days. The inventory is submitted to the court and, like all other papers submitted to the court, becomes a matter of "public record" (available to anyone who wants to look at it). Briefly, there are two reasons for the filing of the inventory. First, to indicate to the court the items of property for which the executor will later "account" to the court (tell the court in detail what he did with all these items when the estate is settled), and to let the beneficiaries, creditors, and all other interested parties know just what is included in the deceased's probate estate. If the executor delays or refuses to file an inventory, any interested party may ask the court to order him to file one, although if there are no disputes or contests, executors often file their inventories late.
The inventory will include any type of property (stock, bonds, real estate, furnishings, jewelry, copyrights, claims against others, etc.) that belonged to the deceased at the time of his death. Normally, this only includes property that stood in the deceased's name alone, but could very well also list property that was being held by someone else, such as property, for example, that the executor believed should be a part of the deceased's probate estate. Otherwise, nonprobate property, such as jointly held property, life insurance or retirement plan benefits payable to a named beneficiary, or assets in a living trust, will not be mentioned in the probate inventory.