Some assets inside or outside an estate that will pass to others when you’re gone have a very clear value. For example, the value of your retirement account on the date the loved one passes away is very easy to calculate. But it’s likely that your estate contains some other assets that aren’t as easy to pin down.

Whether it’s for the purposes of estate accounting or to put something up for sale, some assets need go through appraisal to verify their value.

A personal representative on an estate needs to gather this information when putting together to full estate inventory of assets. This means getting fair market value on the asset in question as close as possible to the date on which the owner passed away.

Date of death value matters for splitting an estate into percentages, for tax basis calculation, in order to qualify or exclude from small estate status, and for calculation of estate taxes. One way to make sure this is done properly is to hire an outside appraiser to calculate fair market value and to get their answer in writing.

This can help to ensure that the personal representative has done their job properly and also minimized the possibility of claims that they wrongfully sold or transferred something for cheap. A personal representative should keep all of this information in one place for the estate so that it can be referenced and reviewed if needed.

Since you don’t know when you’ll pass away, getting an appraisal of assets now while you’re still alive might not help your personal rep in the future. Instead, work to gather important paperwork such as your purchase receipt or any titles. From there, your personal representative can present this information to an appraiser.

Need more help with assets inside your Pasadena estate? Meet with a lawyer from our team today.

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