How Long After a Death Should an Estate Be Appraised?

June 19, 2019 9:45 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

If you’ve recently lost a partner, friend or family member, there are a number of things that you’re probably worried about, such as caring for other family members, handling your own grief and making arrangements for the decedent’s funeral. Unfortunately, this means that you may inadvertently end up overlooking one of the most significant tasks that needs to be performed following someone’s death: the appraisal of their estate.

Appraising an Estate Held in a Living Trust

Many people, particularly married couples, establish a living trust to avoid probate after their death, and to ensure that their assets are distributed according to their wishes following their deaths. When the owner, or grantor, of the assets controlled in a living trust dies, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requires that an appraisal of all of the assets within the trust be performed. This appraisal is used for tax purposes, and for dividing up the value of the assets according to the wishes of the grantor or grantors.

Estate appraisers in Napa County, CA will establish a fair market value for the estate and all of the assets within it prior to their distribution to the living trust’s beneficiaries. The appraisal serves a number of purposes related to taxes, asset distribution and more. It’s exceptionally important that you work with a trusted appraisal company to ensure that the assets in the grantor’s trust are adequately accounted for, and that they’re distributed according to the grantor’s wishes.

Estate appraisers in Napa County, CA, can appraise the estate of the decedent at one of two times: they can either perform a date of death appraisal, or use an alternative valuation date, which occurs six months after the grantor’s death.

Beneficiaries of the estate should use the timing of the estate appraisal to their advantage. Using market predictions, they may be able to determine if the estate will be valued higher or lower in six months’ time; if the estate is subject to high estate taxes, they may want to wait until the fair market value of the estate is lower, thus reducing their tax burden. In large estates, capital gains taxes, as well as estate taxes, may play a role; in these cases, a tax consultant may be necessary to assist you with reducing the estate’s tax burden.

If you’re struggling to understand how you can protect your wishes and accurately distribute your assets following your death, you may want to consult with estate appraisers in Napa County, CA. They can assist you with establishing a living trust, and provide you with instructions on receiving an estate appraisal following the death of a loved one.

County Appraisals Inc. is a trusted team of estate appraisers in Napa County, CA. We’re committed to helping our clients ensure that their wishes and the wishes of their loved ones are accurately carried out. We can help you protect and distribute your assets after your death. To learn more about our high-quality estate appraisals, reach out to one of our qualified representatives today.

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