topic | executing a living trust

Step 4: appraise valuable property

Appraisals are important for determining beneficiaries’ tax obligations, handling distribution questions, and determining estate taxes. They may be obtained from many sources. 

  • real estate: Obtain 2-3 appraisals from real estate agents or appraisers. Online sources such as and may be less precise, but offer ballpark estimates.
  • stocks, bonds, and mutual funds: Consult brokerage firms, online quotes or the financial section of newspapers for daily valuation.
  • insurance policies and annuities: Contact the issuing company.
  • business ownership: Consult a professional appraiser.
  • vehicles: Check the Kelly Bluebook, an online source such as, or even dealerships.
  • antiques, jewelry, or furniture: Check online auctions or local professional appraiser.

(if this Step is complete)
to Step 5

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