When your estate gets settled with the support of a personal representative or executor, date of death values must be established for the assets inside that estate. While you can include appraisal records for valued items at the time you create your will, but this will need to be done again by a personal representative when you pass away.

When it comes to serving in the role of personal representative after a loved one has already passed, this calls upon you to act quickly and gather as many details as possible.

Records and statements for certain accounts can be relatively easy to obtain and to assign a specific date of death value too, but personal effects, collectibles, jewelry, closely-held businesses, and real estate must usually involve the services of a professional appraiser. 

If it is believed that the estate of the decedent will be taxable at the state or federal level, any non-probate assets must also be valued as well. These are assets that don’t have to go through the formal state probate because they pass directly to a beneficiary with some other mechanism of law like real estate that the decedent might have owned with someone else who had joint rights of survivorship or a retirement account that has a named beneficiary on it.

If you are looking ahead to the future of planning your own estate and have questions about how to best incorporate all of these complex issues, make sure that you meet with a Pasadena, CA estate planning attorney who is knowledgeable about these complex issues and can guide you through the process.

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