When a Georgia resident agrees to serve as the executor of another person’s will, that person becomes responsible for performing several duties. One of them is to have a real estate valuation done on any real property owned by an individual at the time of death. Sometimes this is a simple task, but often, additional assistance is needed in order to properly value the property.
Some executors are able to use the value placed on the property by the tax assessor in the area where the real property is located. This value is used for assessing real estate taxes, and does not always reflect the true value of the real estate. It can only be used if it is comparable to the value of other properties sold or for sale near the location at the time of the individual’s death.
If the assessed value is not comparable to the market value of other properties in the area, it will be necessary to have the property appraised. As with using the assessment value, the appraiser will compare the decedent’s property to other properties in the area that are similar to the one being appraised. Other factors are taken into consideration as well such as number of bedrooms, bathrooms and size of the real estate. For example, if the decedent’s property has an additional bedroom or bathroom, the value will be higher than other properties, but will be appraised at a lower value is it does not have as many comparable features of the other properties used.
Once the real estate valuation is complete, the property’s value is added to the other assets in the estate, which will also need to be valued for estate tax purposes. Like an executor’s other duties, he or she does not have to complete this one alone. Executors are allowed, and even encouraged, to obtain the advice and guidance of a Georgia probate attorney who can help ensure that all tasks are properly completed without unnecessary complications or delays.
Source: dummies.com, “How to Appraise a Decedent’s Real Estate Holdings“, Dec. 16, 2016