Estate Tax

When a loved one passes away it is always a difficult time for everyone, and it can be made even more difficult when it becomes clear that the descendants will have to pay taxes on the assets left behind. Normally people think of the financial and real property assets involved, however the IRS can and will consider collections of fine art and other personal property as well, if the values are substantial enough.

For this reason, it is worth having a proper Fair Market Value appraisal of the personal property so that you can try to mitigate your tax responsibility. If no appraisal is provided the IRS can use values which they determine, and which might be considerably higher than Fair Market Value.

Here the type of value is especially relevant, as Fair Market Value is normally quite a bit lower than Replacement Value and can also be lower than what was paid for the items originally, depending on how long the property has been held. The IRS allows for Fair Market Value to be used in this situation, and it is the job of a professional appraiser to make sure those values are property determined and reported so as to protect the beneficiaries of any given estate.