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An Estate Appraisal, or Estate Valuation, is often needed to determine the amount of tax that will be paid upon the date of death of the owner of a Limited Partnership, Limited Liability Company (LLC), Promissory Note, Closely Held Stock, Business, or other non-liquid investment for which there in no readily obtainable value without an independent third party Estate Appraisal from an expert. Many persons will plan in advance arrange to valuation, prepared for a will, and other plans before the death of the family member. This process is usually referred to as an Estate Plan.
The most common Estate Valuation is for a family owed small business or real property. Sometimes the wife has very little knowledge of the business that is usually operated mostly by the husband. The deceased may have also invested in a Limited Partnership, Limited Liability Company (LLC), Promissory Note, or Closely Held Stock. In many cases, one deceased person owned one of these non-liquid investments in their company sponsored self-directed 401k plan, or self-directed IRA. In this situation a 401k Plan Appraisal needs to be performed for the Estate Valuation. For all these non-liquid investment situations the Estate Appraisal needs to be completed by an independent expert.
For relatively small businesses and investments, it usually suffices to follow the valuation guidelines set forth in IRS Revenue Ruling 59-60. For businesses and investments of substantial value, it may be appropriate to follow the guidelines set forth in Financial Accounting Standards, FAS 157.