Estate planning and administration: this is a team sport

When someone in El Paso wants to create a will or trust, he or she will likely turn to a lawyer for help. It makes sense, lawyers know how to protect estates and to pass them along to the correct heirs and beneficiaries. Estate planning lawyers also know about the taxes, fees and other costs associated with estate planning and administration, yet many of them need to work with appraisers to select the proper estate tools.

An appraiser’s job is to estimate the worth of an estate, but since appraisers may be called in long before a person dies, they can only make a reasonable estimate as to what the estate will be at the person’s death. For some people in Texas, however, the value of an individual’s estate may also increase after death, which a skilled appraiser should be able to recognize.

One case of the value of an estate increasing over time is that of Michael Jackson’s. At the time of his death, he was just getting over allegations of child molestation and he hadn’t had a successful record in a while. After he died, however, his music started selling again and any mistakes he may have made were forgotten. Jackson’s estate continues to earn money, over four years after his death.

The biggest reason behind having an accurate appraisal of an estate is that an estate administrator can provide an accurate estimate of how much an heir or beneficiary must pay in taxes and fees following a loved one’s death.

Source:The New York Times, “Putting an Estate Value on the Assets Unique to You,” Paul Sullivan, Sept. 27, 2013