What Does an Estate Appraisal Include?

May 20, 2019 6:32 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

An estate appraisal is an analysis of the value of a piece of real estate, most frequently performed after the death of the owner of the property. There must be a market value placed on the estate to determine how the estate will be divided among the owner’s heirs based on the instructions left behind in the will (or, if there was no will, based on the laws of the state). This appraisal can also help to determine if any estate taxes will need to be paid.

The estate appraiser will typically work alongside other professionals, such as attorneys and accountants, to complete the process. The provided value of the estate will be as of the date of the owner’s death.

Read on for some important information to better familiarize yourself with the concept of estate appraisals in Napa County, CA.

Effective date

As mentioned above, the effective date of the appraisal is the date on which the owner of the estate passed away. For this reason, estate appraisals are also frequently known as “date of death appraisals.”

The value of the estate hinges significantly on how long the owner held that estate. Of course, given that the effective date of the appraisal is the date of death, there might be some challenges for the appraiser. The appraiser likely won’t get into the property for days or weeks after the death of the owner, or even longer, depending on what happen with the probate process. In that time, there may have been some changes in the property. As such, it is frequently necessary for estate appraisers to conduct interviews with people who are familiar with the property to determine the condition it was in at the time of the owner’s death.

What heirs need to know

The heirs to the estate have a couple main options for how the property will be distributed among them: divide the property amongst themselves, or sell off the property and divide the proceeds. Both options require an estate appraisal. The former ensures all heirs will receive the appropriate share of the property, and the latter ensures all items will be sold at a reasonable market value.

Keep in mind that there are the wishes of the property owner to contend with as well. He or she may have left behind specific instructions in their will for how to distribute the property, or which particular pieces of property certain heirs will receive. In many cases, though, once the heir receives that property, it is up to them what they will do with it—they can sell it or give it away if they do not want it or cannot take it for any reason.

Finally, there is also sentimental value to consider. While the monetary value of the estate is what the appraisal will focus on, close relatives and friends may place significant value on certain items for sentimental reasons. An appraisal cannot help here—it will be up to the heirs to handle those matters as they see fit.

For more information about estate appraisals in Napa County, CA, contact the experts at County Appraisals Inc. today.

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