What Is a Probate Appraisal?
A probate appraisal is a court-ordered appraisal used to settle matters of estate distribution.
When a person passes away and leaves behind non-cash assets (including real estate), the probate court must determine the cash value of these assets before distributing them to family or heirs. Usually, this appraisal process is multifaceted, with real estate valuations only acting as one side of the process.
Why Are Probate Appraisals Necessary?
The court requires probate appraisals for several reasons. The two main reasons are:
- Equitable Distribution of Assets Among Heirs:
Probate law often requires equal distribution of a decedent’s assets among his or her heirs, and equitable distribution is not possible if the cash value of certain assets is unclear. A probate appraisal will clarify the value of the estate and ensure that each heir gets their equal share.
- Estate Tax Collection:
Both federal and state governments collect estate and inheritance taxes. According to federal law, if the estate value is $5 million or more, every piece of property in the estate must be appraised. Many states follow this same rule, though some states do have lower thresholds. In any case, a probate appraisal provides the federal and state governments with a clear assessment of the cash value of all assets included in the estate.
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Probate Appraisals vs. Estate Appraisals
Probate appraisals should not be confused with estate appraisals, although they are very similar. While both appraisals determine the cash value of assets, a “probate appraisal” directly refers to appraisals required by a probate court.
Why Choose Authority Appraisals?
At Authority Appraisals, we provide comprehensive and accurate appraisals that meet the requirements of the probate court. Whether you need a probate appraisal for taxation purposes, asset distribution, or both, Authority Appraisals can help.
Authority Appraisals also can offer professional Brokerage Services under our sister company Rhodes & Associates Realty. For more information on our Brokerage services please visit us on the web at www.Rhodes-Associates.com
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