Q: For probate, can you use the assessed value of a home or do you have to use the market value?
For the purpose of determining the probate procedure to use, do you have to use the amount it states is the market value of the home or can you use the assessed value?
A: We typically use the Zillow value - just keep in mind if Zillow is used, and an appraisal is done which puts it over the statutory limit, you will need to convert the probate.
The courts will not accept the County Assessor's value. They will accept Zillow.com evaluation and the proper evaluation is the date of death evaluation. Zillow has a tool that lets you get the value for any month going back several years. Zillow.com evaluations don't take into account the condition of the house.
The courts will also accept the appraisal of a licensed real estate appraiser with a copy of the appraiser's license to appraise real estate attached. Sometimes we go this route if the real value of the real estate is less than Zillow.com and this will get us to a simpler probate procedure. But, Zillow.com is free whereas an appraisal from a license real estate appraiser will cost about $500 without any promise the desire result.
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A: p.s. What is relevant is the "net value" defined as gross value minus the mortgage, if any.
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