Valuing an Estate—Date of Death Values
If you are the executor or personal representative of someone’s estate then one of the first
duties you will perform is to obtain date of death values for all assets of the estate. For some
assets it is relatively easy to obtain the value on the day of death while for others it is a bit
Bank accounts are usually easy to value. Do not, however, rely solely on a bank statement for
the month of death. Many accounts earn interest during the month so the value at the end of
the month does not reflect the true value on the date of death. A bank official should be able to
provide you with the appropriate value.
Real property is also simple. Locate a certified appraiser in the area and be sure to stress that
you want a value for the date of death.
Stocks and bonds get a bit trickier. For bonds, consult a bond broker to ensure that you have a
true date of death value. Stocks typically fluctuate during the day; however, it is usually
considered acceptable to average the high and low price during the day for the value.
If the decedent owned a business, or had an interest in a business, seek the assistance of a
financial advisor and a professional to appraise the business.
Personal items are also required to be valued. For a vehicle, the Kelly Blue Book value, or
another similar value, is usually acceptable. Often, the best way to value other personal items is
to use a professional estate appraiser. In the long run it often saves time and decreases the
chance of a dispute over the value of something.
Experienced estate planning attorneys St. Louis MO of the Purcell and Amen, Attorneys at Law
– Your Estate Matters, LLC offers estate planning and business planning resources to residents
of St. Louis MO. To learn more about these free resources, please visit