What Is A ‘Date Of Death’ Appraisal?

Although it is not that uncommon, it seems to be one of those things that is hard to find out much information about. Anyone who has to face this situation certainly needs to be informed and having at least some basic knowledge is important. In most common cases the “date of death” appraisal is for anyone who has recently lost a loved one or inherited property.

san diego 2If a loved one dies and leaves you property or a transfer of ownership occurs because of death, this appraisal usually occurs for tax purposes. This appraiser may be chosen by a family member or heir, but an attorney or accountant may be appointed to order the appraisal.

These appraisals are usually ordered within two to six months from the time of death or the inheritance of the home or property. There are times when it may be ordered in just a few weeks or it may also be prolonged past the six month mark.

History or Retrospective Value 

Estate planning and other instances cause the need to a history or retrospective appraisal. This process involves performing a current day inspection but valuing it for another time. For instance the time that the property was purchased would be the retrospective value. This is what happens for a date of death appraisal.

Although the inspection is performed today the value is placed in retrospect to the weeks, months, or years before when the date of death occurred. The thing to keep in mind is that you do not have to put much concern into the type of appraisal to order for circumstances like this.

In most cases, the attorney or accountant involved will order this more specialized appraisal.

These are the types of circumstances in which professionals should have the say in making things happen so the right thing does happen. At least with this basic knowledge you will understand if this is what you hear is being done.

Making the Distinction 

Another instance when this type of appraisal may be used is in the case of a divorce and a retrospective appraisal is ordered. Here is an example:

  • A couple gets married and the wife moves into a home the husband already owned. Should the couple divorce, the wife may make claims that her efforts helped greatly increase the value of the home. A retrospective appraisal would demonstrate the value of the home at the point when the wife moved in. This compared to a current assessment (along with proof of her invested efforts) would show how the home has increased in value more so than it would have based on the current value without the enhancements.

The process involves a current inspection and then the home is compared to other similar homes that sold in the area at the time. Key features such as square footage, number of bedrooms, and special features such as a swimming pool are all used to find comparable homes. This can be done for the value of the home last week or decades ago.

I hope you found this helpful and if you have any additional questions, thoughts, or comments please leave them down below.

Integra Realty Resources specializes in both commercial and residential appraisals for divorce, bankruptcy, estate, date of death, tax appeals, pre-listings, and more throughout the greater San Diego area. For more info contact us at (858) 259-4900, visit our website at IRRSanDiego.com, or email us @ sandiego@irr.com.


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