Estate & Date of Death Appraisals

Benjamin Franklin said, “There are only two things certain in life: Death and taxes.” Well, the third certainty is: When you die, everyone will want to know how much you were worth. Sad, but true. When someone dies, the estate or the assets of the estate must be valued prior to any division of property under inheritance law, or in accordance with the will. The main reason for that is, you guessed it: Estate taxes.

“Date of Death” Appraisals in St Louis County

An estate settlement is something very few people know anything about until one of their family members passes and they are encumbered by the experience. However, as part of the estate settlement process, we at True Value Appraisal, Inc. (TVA) are frequently asked to perform a real estate appraisal. Therefore, we can offer a few tips to property owners and estate planners regarding these mysterious proceedings so you and your family are not caught unaware in the case of an unfortunate occurrence of death to one of your loved ones, no matter how “certain” it is.

Transfer of Ownership and Property Assessments

Although in many cases the ownership of the family home passes automatically from the deceased spouse to the surviving spouse without incident, when it becomes necessary to transfer the ownership of a property due to death or an inheritance, commonly, an appraisal or assessment of the real estate value is needed. This real estate appraisal could be requested by an accountant, attorney, or the executor of the will, when one is available. Oftentimes, it is a family member, who was named as the executor, that ask for the appraisal. Whoever asks for the appraisal can recover the expense of the appraisal from the assets of the estate, if necessary.

It has been the experience of our appraisal team that an estate appraisal is normally requested within a two to six-month time period after the passing of loved ones or notification of an inheritance.      

In some cases, a property assessment is requested almost immediately; whereas, at other times it may be a year or more, contingent on the situation and location of beneficiaries.

Retrospective Real Estate Appraisals

A Retrospective appraisal, or an appraisal that is based on the property valuation on the “date of death” is a fairly common occurrence in an estate settlement. This involves a commitment to adequate research and substantiation of assessment values. If an appraisal of property value is ever questioned, our detailed report will specify exactly how we determined these values in retrospect. A retrospective real estate appraisal is often called a “date of death” appraisal because the date of the owner’s death is the date the IRS and other authorities/agencies will use to determine tax owed upon transfer.

Additionally, a “current value” appraisal may be requested to establish a current market valuation in case of a required sale or one of the heirs offering a settlement.

Regardless of the time that has elapsed or the requirements of the requestor, our certified team of professional appraisers at TVA understands the intricacies involved in property valuations, current or retrospective, no matter how difficult the circumstances we will go the extra mile to ensure your appraisal meets your needs.      

Why Use the Professionals at TVA?

True Value Appraisal, Inc. understands that every situation in estate valuations are different and the appraisal needed depends on specific requirements of the executor of the estate or other agencies asking for an assessment. With TVA, you need not concern yourself with overpayment of taxes or other questions of valuations. Many attorneys in the St. Louis, Missouri, St. Louis City, Jefferson County Missouri, and St. Charles Missouri City and County areas depend on TVA for “Opinions of Value” and trust our detailed reports as proof of value for the estate. In addition, we will be more than happy to discuss the requirements with your accountant or attorney and provide the exact requirements for the situation of estate settlement, or back up our findings in court, should that become necessary in the case of a contested will or other circumstances.

Pierre Jacques is the Senior appraiser here at TVA and has more than 20 years’ expertise in handling date of death and estate property valuations. That is exactly why large numbers of accountants, attorneys, and estate planners come to Pierre and the True Value Appraisal, Inc. team of professionals for “Opinions of Value” to formulate tax liabilities and other legal requirements of estate settlement and during these proceedings.

Call the TVA office today, or whenever you have questions regarding estate planning or property valuations. True Value Appraisal, Inc. is a trusted name in the property appraisal industry, “Our Name Says It All.”