Some appraisers are very upset with the $5.4 million Federal estate tax exclusion; (It is higher this year than last year). They complain that it cut out a large part of their estate business. Frankly, there are many more reasons to have an estate appraisal performed beyond the Federal estate tax.
Not only does a qualified appraisal tell the IRS what is in the estate – it also tells the IRS what is NOT in the estate. An appraisal of the FMV of the “contents” of an estate can be a valuable document for an executor, and an ‘insurance policy’ against future action.
Executor, attorneys, and personal representatives typically say: “No appraisal needed, it’s not going Federal.” The truth is, there are still many financial decisions that need to be made even if the estate does not “go federal.”
Equitable distribution is almost always a big concern. What if Uncle Charlie wants the car and sister Suzie want the china cabinet? Who got the better deal? An appraisal will easily resolve this dilemma. It also provides the executor with the documentation he or she needs to fulfill her fiduciary responsibilities.
Was it Albert Einstein whose theory of relativity stated: “Where there’s a “will” there’s a “relative.”?? An estate appraisal simplifies the process and eliminates many family squabbles.
Do not overlook this important product on the shelf of your “Appraisal Depot.”