Estate Read Time: 3 min

Four Steps to Valuing an Estate

Determining the value of an estate is a fundamental first step in estate management and a critical requirement for settling a decedent’s estate.1

How to Assess the Value of an Estate

  1. Select the date of calculation. Because values move up and down, you need to set a specific date for a valuation. For a living person, you are free to pick any date. If you’re assessing the value of a decedent’s estate, you may choose either the date of death or the date six months after their death (the “Alternate Valuation Date”). If you use the Alternate Valuation Date, any asset sold or distributed during the first six months following the death must be valued as of the date of sale or distribution.2
  2. Determine the assets comprising the estate. This asset list should include everything an individual owns or has ownership interests in.
  3. Gather all financial statements as of the date of calculation. If an account is owned individually, the entire value should be calculated in the estate. If owned jointly with a spouse who has rights of survivorship, then 50 percent of the value should be included.
    Remember to:
    -Deduct any outstanding mortgage balance.3
    -Include life insurance when the policy owner is the deceased individual or the beneficiary is the decedent’s estate.3
  4. Calculate deductions. Subtract any debts from the total value of assets. For the decedent, this may also include any regular bills that may be due (e.g., utilities, medical expenses, etc.), charitable gifts, and state tax obligations.

Assessing the precise value of an estate can be complicated, especially when settling an estate. Please consult a professional with estate expertise regarding your individual situation.

1. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation.
2. The article assumes the deceased has a valid will and has named an executor who is responsible for carrying out the directions of the will. If a person dies intestate, it means that a valid will has not been executed. Without a valid will, a person’s property will be distributed to the heirs as defined by the state law.
3. Several factors will affect the cost and availability of life insurance, including age, health, and the type and amount of insurance purchased. Life insurance policies have expenses, including mortality and other charges. If a policy is surrendered prematurely, the policyholder also may pay surrender charges and have income tax implications. You should consider determining whether you are insurable before implementing a strategy involving life insurance. Any guarantees associated with a policy are dependent on the ability of the issuing insurance company to continue making claim payments.

The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG, LLC, is not affiliated with the named broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Copyright FMG Suite.

Share |
 

Related Content

Financial Fixes: Beware of Market Bubbles

Financial Fixes: Beware of Market Bubbles

Don't crash and burn in a market bubble, here are some ideas on how to build a solid investment portfolio.

Required Reading: The Economic Report of the President

Required Reading: The Economic Report of the President

The Economic Report of the President can help identify the forces driving — or dragging — the economy.

Keeping Summer Safe: Pool and Spa Safety Tips

Keeping Summer Safe: Pool and Spa Safety Tips

Each year hundreds of children die or are injured in pool accidents. By taking seven steps, you can keep your pool safe.

 

Have A Question About This Topic?







Thank you! Oops!

Why Medicare Should Be Part of Your Retirement Strategy

How Medicare can address health care needs in your retirement strategy.

How to Spend Again After Saving

When people save, it brings life rewards. But sometimes after being on your best money behavior for a long time, you want to cut loose and spend. It can happen whether you’ve been saving to buy a home, rejoined the workforce or survived a global pandemic.

Whole Life Insurance Can Be an Asset For Balance

Even if you didn’t grow up on a farm, you’ve heard, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.”

View all articles

Long-Term-Care Needs

Determine your potential long-term care needs and how long your current assets might last.

Bi-Weekly Payments

This calculator estimates the savings from paying a mortgage bi-weekly instead of monthly.

Contributing to an IRA?

Determine if you are eligible to contribute to a traditional or Roth IRA.

View all calculators

5 Smart Investing Strategies

There are some smart strategies that may help you pursue your investment objectives

Principles of Preserving Wealth

How federal estate taxes work, plus estate management documents and tactics.

Your Cash Flow Statement

A presentation about managing money: using it, saving it, and even getting credit.

View all presentations

When Do You Need a Will?

When do you need a will? The answer is easy: Right Now.

What Can a Million Dollars Buy You?

$1 million in a diversified portfolio could help finance part of your retirement.

Emerging Market Opportunities

What are your options for investing in emerging markets?

View all videos