Asset Valuation: Key Duty of a California Trustee or Administrator

One important responsibility of a trustee or administrator of an estate is to obtain asset valuations on the property held in the trust or in the decedent’s estate. If you are not experienced with administering an estate or trust in California, it is important to seek out the guidance of a knowledgeable Anaheim trust lawyer to ensure your responsibilities are properly carried out. Asset valuation is essential to the administration process because it will help you when carrying out the tax-related duties of the trust or estate administrator.

The following are helpful facts about asset valuation during an Orange County trust or estate administration:

  1. Valuations will give you the fair market value of the asset on the date that the decedent passed away.
  2. Fair market value is defined as the price that a willing buyer would pay to a willing seller for the asset.
  3. In some cases, the estate administrator may opt to choose a different valuation date rather than use the date of death of the decedent. 
  4. If a different valuation date is used, the date is six months from the date of death.
  5. If the later valuation date is elected, all assets within the estate must be valued based upon this chosen date.
  6. Certain assets may not require a formal appraisal performed by a professional.

When valuing the assets of the trust or estate, the trustee or administrator should also be careful to comply with provisions and regulations imposed by the Internal Revenue Code. Failing to do so could expose the trustee or the administrator to liability and result in penalties for the trust or estate. 

Asset valuation is just one responsibility of the trustee of a trust in California. To learn more about the role of a trustee, view our free DVD, Understanding the Revocable Living Trust—in Language That Anyone Can Understand in 8 Minutes. Our office of experienced Anaheim trust attorneys can provide further guidance. Call our office today at (714) 459-5481 for a consultation.

James F. Roberts
Founder and owner of the Law Office of James F. Roberts and Associates, a premiere estate planning law firm