Ask Henry

New Assignment, Prior Property

Hi Henry, 

In my experience, when I've done estate appraisals, the date of death provided the lower value for the client. If the estate has not been settled, say for more than one year, and the value decreases after DOD, will IRS accept a current value? I've encountered a situation, in which the electricity went off during an ice storm, the oil-fired boiler (which has a reset switch to prevent a buildup of oil in the firebox was not reset by anyone when the power came back on because no one was living in the house. The pipes froze, burst, and did a tremendous amount of damage as a result of water gushing from the baseboard hotwater system. The estate is in its third, going on 4th year. What is the property way to provide an estate appraisal?

Jack Sotack, Waymart PA

Dear Jack,
The effective date of the appraisal is determined at the scope of work dialogue between the appraiser and the client. There is nothing in the USPAP other than this requirement. Often when the appraisal is made for estate work the date of appraisal is the date of the death of the owner, but not always. Whatever the effective date of the appraisal is date that you use for the condition of the property on that date and the market at that time.