How do you assess the “value of an estate” for purposes of applying for administration of an estate?

UPDATED: Jun 12, 2012

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How do you assess the “value of an estate” for purposes of applying for administration of an estate?

I want to apply for administration of my dad’s estate and I need the estimated value of the estate. Where I’m having trouble is with his condo (worth approximately $150,000). The problem is he has a mortgage on the condo (he was under water at $170,000). He does have other assets, but I’m not sure how to figure it in. Do I include his debts (mortgage) when valuing his estate? Its a big deal because If so he would have an estate worth $30,000. If I don’t factor in his debts, it’s worth $200,000 and I’d have to post a surety bond on that value, which I do not have.

Asked on June 12, 2012 under Estate Planning, New Jersey


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Custom and practice with respect to the valuation of an estate for purposes of fees of the attorney or executor doing assorted work for it is based upon a percentage of the gross estate. Meaning, the value of the estate as a whole before offsets as to liabilities such as debts owed.

From what you have written, you are dealing with a $200,000 estate.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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