When you pass away, the individual appointed as your personal representative is responsible for handling many different tasks in closing out your estate. One of these includes getting date of death values for all property inside a trust or in your estate. This is true and required even if only one person will inherit everything inside your estate.
In a Virginia estate, the chosen personal representative essentially becomes the custodian of this property. During the probate process, it’s managed by the personal representative and kept safe or invested until it becomes time to pass this on to pay off creditors or to distribute to estate beneficiaries.
If you sell the assets shortly after this person passes away, you would be able to use the sale value as the date of death value. Without a sale on the horizon, however, the executor is responsible for getting those assets appraised by an expert. There are four primary reasons why date of death value is so important.
These are for purposes of determining estate taxes, identifying the new tax basis for beneficiaries receiving the asset, qualifying for small estate status or splitting the estate, such as in situations in which a will calls for beneficiaries to equally share assets.
In all of these circumstances, it is important to engage the services of an appraiser. Working with a brokerage account manager is more complicated because many people reinvest their earned dividends. This means the number of shares that they would own could potentially change every single month and this would require a call into the brokerage to verify. For unique items, look for someone to assist you from the Appraisers’ Association of America or the American Society of Appraisers.
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