Probate Appraisal and Inventory: Do I Need One?

As the personal representative in an estate that is going through probate, you must often file an inventory and appraisal of the deceased’s assets with the court or Register of Wills within a few months of receiving the letters of administration.

The appraisal document lists the estate’s assets and the appraised value of those assets. The purpose of the appraisal process is to determine the value of the deceased’s assets at the date of their death. The appraisal value of these assets sets the base values for determining the statutory fees, such as taxes, to be paid at the end of the probate process.

In short, getting an inventory and appraisal is an essential step in the probate process.

What Should you Include in the Inventory and Appraisal?

The inventory and appraisal provides the overall value of the estate by providing an itemized list of the estate assets and their respective values. The inventory should include all of the estate’s assets, such as real property (cash, checking, savings, and investment accounts), household goods (furniture, jewelry, collectibles, antiques, and other collections), business interests, and any other assets. The appraisal describes each asset in detail so that it can be properly identified and valued by a licensed appraisal.

What Assets Does the Personal Representative Value?

While the Personal Representative appraises cash assets including:

  • Money and other cash items

  • Cash deposits and money market mutual funds

  • Checks issued after the date of the decedent’s death

  • Accounts in financial institutions

  • Proceeds of life and accident insurance policies, retirement plans, and annuities

What Assets Require a Licensed Appraiser?

A licensed, qualified appraiser must be employed to value non-cash assets, such as:

  • Household goods (artwork, antiques, collectibles, etc.)

  • Real estate (residential, commercial, and land)

  • Stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and other securities

  • Tangible personal property such as automobiles

  • Business interests, assets, and equipment

After the inventory and appraisal of these assets, they must be filed with the probate court.

How Can I Begin the Appraisal Process?

AppraiseItNow is a global team of certified appraisal professionals. Our appraisers work in all 50 states, and are certified to appraise all forms of assets (real estate, personal property, and equipment) for the probate process. To begin the appraisal process, and see how our team can best help you, click the button below.

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