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Overview of the asset valuation process

Although often overlooked in the midst of discussions about will contests, asset valuation is actually one of the most important parts of the probate process in California. Residents of Fresno and Fresno County who have the privilege as serving as a personal representative or executor of a loved one's estate will need to understand the basics of how to put a value on both the estate as a whole and on each item in the estate.

In some cases, this is a pretty easy task. For instance, if the person who died had a bank account, publically traded stock, or something else with a definite dollar value, then it is just a matter of finding out what that dollar value was on the date of the person's death.

However, not every piece of property a person owns has a definite dollar value. For instance, no one can really know for certain what a house is worth until it gets sold in the open market. If a family does not want to sell the house, however, the personal representative will have to put a value on the house in some way. The most reliable means of doing this is hiring an appraiser, but other means of putting a value on the home, like a formal opinion from a real estate agent or even tax records, are options in some cases.

Correctly getting a value on each piece of property in an estate is important both because it could affect the distribution of the estate's property and because the value of the property may have tax consequences. Not doing it right therefore could lead to probate litigation or to trouble with the taxing authorities. Therefore, a personal representative will likely want to seek out the help of an experienced probate attorney when going through the valuation process.

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Law Office of Jeffrey B. Pape, P.C.
642 Pollasky Avenue
Suite 100
Clovis, CA 93612

Toll Free: 800-797-5677
Fax: 559-299-0920
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