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Professional Appraisals to Assist Estates and Executors


One of the largest investments a person makes in his/her lifetime will be real estate or the home they live in over the years.

As people get older, they must create a will and assign an executor, usually a family member. It will be up to the executor, who must allocate the assets of the will and make sure all the taxes are paid, family members receive their inheritance, according to the will and navigating tension over family members and how the estate is divided. And it’s a fact, that by law, executors are financially liable for their mistakes and are increasingly being held to account both by beneficiaries and by the courts. As an executor, they must ensure that the assets of the estate are valued accurately.

That is why appraising assets is a complicated affair and its important the the executor understand the complications, especially when it comes to real estate. And, regardless if the estate is small and the assets are few, or if the estate has vast holdings, the Executor/Executrix has a legal responsibility to ensure that the appraisals are accurate, credible, and reliable. Therefore, it’s important that a qualified appraiser be hired by the executor to handle the real estate appraisal report and make sure it’s done correctly, professionally and on time. Making sure you select the right appraiser can save you lots of money, time and energy knowing that it’s done according to the laws of the province.

Executor Duties

As an executor, when it comes to the home and any land/property that is in the will, it must be allocated according to the estate. In some cases, executors have to make sure that if they are selling a property or asset, they get qualified real estate appraisals and opinions as to value. The process when selling a home as an executor, is that it’s an excellent idea to have the home appraised by one or two appraisers. Whether the home will be sold or stay within the family, you’ll need to understand fair market value for the home and an appraisal (or two) will help you do so. In some cases it’s recreational property, sometimes it’s bare land, but often and in most cases it’s the principal residence. And family members will most likely want to get what’s their assets/money quickly; and it’s up to the executor to make sure this is handled correctly and legally.

That’s why going to a local qualified appraiser is the best course of action to make sure that the market value of the property is correctly assessed so family members will not come back and start legal action if they feel the property or properties where sold accordingly to market value. These are the questions you must ask yourself as an executor: When it comes to determining the Market Value of the assets in a trust, are you willing to assume the risks and estimate the values yourself, or possibly use an unqualified appraiser? Alternatively, do you ensure that you meet your legal obligations and engage the services of a qualified professional appraiser? These are the issues you must think about as an executor during a time of emotional strain and with multiple people wanting answers and what’s owed to them in a timely manner.


Local Market Study

The first steps of the process, Vancouver appraisers will do a market study to determine what similar homes with similar characteristics have recently sold for in the area, giving you more confidence when it comes to setting the asking price. Getting an Vancouver appraisal on such a significant and expensive asset can also prevent issues later. For example, say one of the beneficiaries comes back after the sale of the home and has concerns that the home was sold for too little. As executor, you’ll be able to show you did your due diligence in having a qualified expert, or third party handle the appraisal.

There are lots of details that have to managed correctly and as a trustee, you may be personally liable for any breach in your duties. Some of the major things to think about and responsibilities includes establishing the Market Value of each asset in the trust as of the date it was added to the trust, and as of the date it was sold or at other prescribed dates of pertinent legislation.

When it comes to determining the Market Value of the assets in a trust, are you willing to assume the risks and estimate the values yourself, or possibly use an unqualified appraiser? This can lead to issues down the road from legal action from beneficiaries and the courts. That is why it’s important that you meet your legal obligations and engage the services of a local qualified professional appraiser.


Think Local Appraisals

When you are searching for a professional real estate appraisal, in order to get a professional valuation, make sure they know the Metro Vancouver and Fraser Valley area. That is why it’s best to obtain an independent appraisal by a third party from a qualified Vancouver appraiser like Elliott Appraisals who have a deep knowledge of the Lower Mainland; and that’s how an executor will be able confidently prove they have performed his or her fiduciary duty as well as secured the best price possible for a property.

Having a local appraisal company like Elliott Appraisals will give you the peace of mind you deserve during an emotional and difficult time. Just knowing that this part of the estate evaluation is being handled correctly by a local expert, and that you will be doing it right the first time will give you the ability to think clearly about the next steps you will need to take as an executor.


About Elliott Appraisals

If you think you need a Vancouver or Lower Mainland appraisal done on your home, or you know someone who does, then it’s a good idea to contact an appraisal consultant who can walk you through the process. At Elliott Appraisals, for over 20 years we have been known as the experts in covering Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley for homeowners, and also provide building replacement cost appraisals for insurance purposes. Call us today at: 604 313 7598 and one of our fully accredited appraisers will talk to you and advise you on what are the best steps to take for your property. You can also fill our contact form. Every home, strata and situation is different and Elliott Appraisals will be able to guide you through the process of completing the report professionally and on time.


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