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Whether or not it is repealed or whether or not an estate is below the current De Minimus level for tax purposes, the value of the property as of the date of inheritance will still need to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 purposes.


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.