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

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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

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 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.


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