Especially when it comes to larger inheritances, valuation has the potential to be one of the most important steps when distributing an estate. That is because Massachusetts has an estate tax.
Your loved one probably intended for the estate to go to the heirs, and not to experience undue tax burden in the process. You could potentially help ensure this by categorizing all of the assets correctly.
Unfortunately, this might be easier said than done. The evaluation procedures in Massachusetts are pursuant to the complex rules of the IRS. Therefore, although it is possible to do estate taxes online via MassTaxConnect as outlined on the website of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, it may be a good idea to have all of your paperwork in order before you begin this process.
Valuation may also require you to enlist the help of third parties if you wish to provide accurate numbers to the courts. For example, unique pieces of art or antiques may require professional appraisal. Similarly, you may need an accountant for another financial expert to examine the value of securities, real estate and other types of assets.
Believe it or not, Massachusetts does not want to tax you on assets you do not inherit. Therefore, if you believe your loved one's estate may not truly require estate tax, a robust valuation may be in order.
When you look at the details of an estate, the path forward often becomes much clearer. therefore, please do not use these articles as legal advice. They are only meant to provide general information.