You may need an estate appraisal for a variety of reasons related to estate planning or the settlement of an estate. They may be used by accountants, attorneys, and estate executors to determine accurate values as of the date of death, or a current value may be needed for estate disbursement or planning.
The determined value may be used for a variety of purposes:
- Tax Basis – Real estate gets a new tax basis, when it’s inherited. Beneficiaries will need to know this value to properly calculate capital gains tax. In Avoid Tax Traps with a Timely Appraisal, Thomas Stemmy, CPA said, “a well documented and defensible appraisal is necessary for inherited property that is to be gifted or bequeathed.”
- Estate Taxes – The estate may or may not be subject to federal or state estate tax, depending on the value.
- Deciding on a Listing Price – If a piece of real estate is going to be sold, an accurate appraisal can help to decide on the best listing price.
- Estate Planning – When doing advanced planning, potentially moving assets into trust or working to plan for taxes, an appraisal can be useful for making the most informed decisions.
- Splitting the Estate – If the will calls for beneficiaries to divide assets equally, it’s important to know the value of key components of the estate, such as real estate.
Settling an estate can be an upsetting or stressful time for many of the parties involved. In performing the appraisal, we’re aware of this and are courteous and professional to all parties involved, providing an accurate and well-supported appraisal.