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Postmortem Estate Planning Techniques - Alternative Valuation Date

Alternate Valuation Date
It is the responsibility of the executor of an estate to take care of the financial matters of the deceased including the filing of the final income tax return and the estate tax return. For valuing the assets that make up the decedent's estate, the executor has the option of using the date of death value or the "alternate valuation date," which is six months after the date of death.

Requirements to utilize the "Alternate Valuation date:"
  1. It must apply to all estate property.
  2. It must reduce the value of the gross estate.
  3. It decreases the amount of estate tax liability.

Look Out!
All assets that are disposed of between the alternate valuation date and the date of death are valued on the date of disposition if the alternate valuation date is selected.
Even if the alternate valuation date is used, diminishing value property (annuitized annuities, installment sales, patents, leases, etc.) is valued as of the date of death because the simple passing of time is not valid grounds to revalue the asset.

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