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What should I know about real estate appraisal?

One of the most important steps following the death of a loved one is the organization of his or her estate. Through probate proceedings, potential heirs -- as well as creditors -- will have the chance to step forward and assert their rights to receive payment for debts, and ultimately to receive their inheritances after the debts have been paid. During this probate process, the estate will need to be valued and this could involve determining the value of real estate property owned by the estate.

What follows are some vital points that every estate executor should know about real estate appraisal:

  • Only use an appraiser who has been licensed by the state of Illinois, or has been licensed by the state in which the specific piece of property is found.
  • Never use an appraiser who is a family friend or known to any heir of the estate. The appraiser must be a neutral third party, and he or she cannot have any financial or friendship connection to the estate or its beneficiaries.
  • The property that you're having appraised will be referred to as the "subject property."
  • Once the appraisal is complete, you will receive a detailed report that shows information regarding a thorough on-site evaluation and an evaluation of local markets and sales data that affect the current price of the property.

In addition to having a property appraised following the death of a loved one, Illinois residents who are preparing their estate plans may also want to appraise the value of their properties as a part of that process. A skilled and experienced estate planning lawyer can help you with selecting an appropriate appraiser and assist you with any other estate planning and/or estate administration needs.

Source: The Balance, "Facts about real estate appraisal," Janet Wickell, Oct. 20, 2017

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