The current administration is reportedly considering the repeal of the Estate Tax
law. It is unknown as of this time if a repeal will ultimately be approved by Congress.
Repeals of this tax have been attempted by prior administrations but have been
unsuccessful. An alternative would be an increase in the De Minimus level. Again,
it is unknown if this will actually happen.
Whether or not it is repealed or whether or not an estate is below the current De
Minimus level for tax purposes, the value of the property as of the date of inheritance
will still need to be determined in most instances. The reason is so that when the
inheritor ultimately sells the property, the accountant can calculate the gain (or
loss) on the inherited property - whether it is a 100% interest or a fractional interest.
Another reason for knowing the basis as of the date of inheritance is for depreciation
It is particularly important that properties be valued as close as possible to the
date of death of the decedent. Data needed for appraisals becomes increasingly difficult
to obtain in later years as many data sources tend to purge their files after several
years. An additional concern is that operating statements and leases for income
properties can become lost over time, adding to the difficulty in doing a “retrospective”
appraisal. This can result in a a higher appraisal cost.
It is our recommendation that if you are uncertain whether or not you need an appraisal
of the inherited property, ask your accountant or tax attorney.