Valuation Techniques and the Federal Gross Estate
Generally, federal estate taxes are based either on the FMV of the transferred property as of the date the decedent died or the alternate valuation date which is six months following the date of death.  

Fair Market Value (FMV):
The price at which property would change hands between a willing seller and buyer of which neither is under any urgency to buy or sell, and both parties have reasonable knowledge of relevant facts pertaining to the property.

Step-up In Basis:
Marketable securities such as publically traded stock, mutual funds, bonds, etc. receive a step-up in basis to FMV at the date of death as well.



Sample Questions 1 - 4

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