Estate Settlement Appraisals

Estate and Inheritance Property Appraisals

Estate appraisals determine the value of real estate. When someone dies, an estate appraisal will need to be done on the real estate owned by the person who has died to figure out what their property is worth. This is important so that the person’s heirs receive what they are supposed to receive from the person’s estate. The estate appraisal will also help to figure out what taxes are owed, which can be really complicated.

To value an estate, you need (at a minimum):

A trusted member of the legal profession (aka, an Attorney)
A good Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
A Certified Real Estate Appraiser (Sactown Appraisals)

You need to hire the services of a professional real estate appraiser to estimate the fair market value of the property at the time of the decedent’s death. The appraisal should include a well-supported, professional appraisal report that is admissible and defensible in court.  And it must follow the IRS Real Property Valuation Guidelines.

Generally, the estate tax return is due nine months after the date of death. If the market has declined since the date of death, an alternate valuation date (6 months from the date of death) may be selected for valuation purposes (for all estate assets) if doing so will reduce the estate tax.

Retrospective appraisals are fairly common in estate settlement situations. These involve appraising a home based on a prior date which is typically the owner’s date of death; hence estate appraisals are often referred to as date of death appraisals.

Estate appraisals are commonly ordered between 2-6 months after the death of a loved one or inheritance of a property.  the time period may be as long as a year or more depending on the circumstances at hand. during the settlement process, you may need a second appraisal to determine the current market value for purposes of a sale or settlement between heirs.

Every situation is different and the type of appraised value required depends on the particular needs of the estate.  This is not something you need to worry about as a good attorney, CPA or accountant can help direct you toward the type of value needed for the estate. We are happy to speak with your attorney, CPA or accountant to clarify exactly what is required for your situation.

Our Approach

Dealing with an estate is often one of the most upsetting and difficult times in a person’s life. We understand and appreciate the sensitive nature of going into the family home and handle these situations with the utmost care. We are also bound by the ethical provisions within the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) which guarantees our customers the highest level of confidentiality and discretion. In addition, we provide you with comprehensive appraisal reports that meet or exceed requirements of the IRS, courts and other various agencies.

Working with Sactown Appraisals rest assured that you will get the best in professional service and courtesy, while also receiving the highest quality appraisal reports. Our team of exceptional appraisers will be discreet and respect and protect your family’s privacy. And if necessary Sactown Appraisals stands behinds its appraisals and value estimates should matters advance to a dispute, trial or IRS audit.

Bart C Nathan, Certified Real Estate Appraiser will complete or personally review your appraisal. Our extensive experience includes dealing with local and prestigious law firms in the Sacramento area. We welcome your telephone inquiries and invite your questions about our process.

Date of Death Valuation for An Estate Appraisal

Estate Appraisals figure out the value of property as of a certain date, which is not usually the date that the appraisal is ordered. Instead, a Date of Death Appraisal will give the actual market value of the property as of the date of death of the owner(s).

The Executor

The Executor of an estate carries out the wishes of the deceased. This can be a hard job when the person’s heirs are not in agreement over how the estate should be divided.

Real Estate is a Major Asset

Real Estate is frequently one of the major assets that must to be handled as part of an estate.

A professional estate appraisal should be performed by a Certified Residential Real Estate Appraiser to determine the market value of the property. Because the date of death is usually different than the date that the appraisal is ordered, an Retrospective Appraisal (also called a historical appraisal) is the type of appraisal that can provide the value as of the date of the event in question – in this case, the date of death of the property owner.

Don’t Pay More Taxes Than Necessary

Because taxes can be a substantial part of the cost of settling an estate, it is critical to establish a Market Value that will stand up in court, i.e. that is defensible if it were to be challenged.

This Fair Market Value as of the date of death, should be substantiated with a detailed report (i.e. the estate appraisal) that provides the real market data and analysis that was used by the professional real estate appraiser to support the opinion of value.

Be Prepared for the Appraisal

In order to facilitate the appraisal of property as of a date in the past, you may need to provide records such as deeds, inspection records or photographs that can substantiate the condition of the property at the time the records were created. The appraiser will use this information as well as historical market data (such as sales in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and construction data (cost to build) to determine the fair market value of the real estate as of the date required.