What is the “Right” Value in Appraising Property for Federal Estate Taxes?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jul 16, 2021

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What is the appropriate value, of course, depends on the assets. For appraisal purposes, on a home, use comparable sales, or if there is no market, the highest price; for that Van Gogh painting, use auction prices or appraisals; insurance policies in your name, the face value; for a sole proprietorship, use the balance sheet for the valuation date; Microsoft stock, the average of the high and low selling prices quoted on the valuation date; jewelry, its retail value; your yacht, try a yacht broker for an appraisal; employee benefits, the value of the payments made to the beneficiaries.

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