Your ancestor's estate inventory can tell you more than simply how much his cow was worth. You can get occupational clues from the items he owned as his death, knowledge of whether he owned real property or not, and references to other items that could be a springboard to further research. I've found references to land warrants and out of state property that were significant pieces of infomation.
Don't look at your ancestor's inventory as just a list of items. Look at it as a list of clues.