When it is time for an estate appraisal in Maryland, we seek every detail. There is a reason why private individuals and attorneys hire experts for this process. It is often complex, and we seek facts and items that less experienced parties may overlook. If you are preparing for an estate appraisal, here is what we consider in order to determine a complete value:
- Value at date of death: It is true that some assets can lose or gain value within a day. That is why items are valued as of the date of death. This helps with splitting the estate in wills that instruct that property be distributed equally or with determining taxes. It is also important for “small estate” considerations, since estates valued below a certain amount qualify for probate shortcuts. Therefore, we take the date of death and value these items based on their status at that time.
- Real estate: Real property is often the most valuable asset owned by anyone, and with each piece of real estate being unique, special concerns can arise. Undeveloped land may be assessed for commercial value, since it may attract those wishing to build on it. Developed land with structures is assessed based on land and building values. A teardown structure may be considered a bane, but if it frees up space for development, it is usually not a deterrent for an investor. If the property sells on the open market within a year of death, the IRS will consider the sale price a fair market value and tax appropriately.
- Bank accounts: Liquid assets figure prominently in estate assessments. Besides the usual checking and savings accounts, there will also be an assessment of certificates of deposit and business accounts. If any accounts accrue interest, it will be calculated as of the date of death.
- Investment accounts: If there are any brokerage accounts, their value will also be assessed as of the date of death. This can be more complicated since many people reinvest their dividends and there is often a detailed audit of statements to see how this all worked out. Stocks are assessed on the date of death, and that can fortunately be determined through brokerage records or even looking online.
- Business assets: People who ran their own companies or were self-employed will often have business assets. This can vary in significance. There are businesses like manufacturing or car repair that require heavy machinery and other high-value capital to stay in operation. However, a law firm or home office may not have assets beyond computers or furniture.
- Valuable personal property: Art, antiques, classic vehicles or collections can be very valuable. If your deceased loved one had any collections or unique items, you should have them thoroughly appraised. Many of these items command high prices, and if there is no sentimental value attached to them, you likely want to consider selling them.
The value of personal property and real estate are not the only things to consider in an estate appraisal in Maryland. That is why you need to hire experienced professionals for this important task. Call Jane Campbell-Chambliss & Associates, LLC to arrange for a thorough assessment of estate assets.