One of the duties of the personal representative of an estate in Maryland is to obtain an appraisal of the property owned by the deceased. This is part of the process of completing and filing an inventory of the estate after the property owner passes away. In the state of Maryland, the personal representative can appraise certain items themselves. Otherwise, the property must be appraised by a neutral and qualified appraiser.
One item a personal representative may be able to appraise is a motor vehicle. The value of the vehicle can be based on the value given in the official used car guide of the National Automobile Dealers' Association or by a similar pricing system that the register designates is appropriate.
The personal representative also may be able to appraise the value of the debts owed to the deceased person, as well as unpaid loans, notes and bonds that the deceased person owed to any other person. Moreover, the personal representative is allowed to appraise the value of any bank accounts that the deceased person held.
If the deceased person owned any over-the-counter securities or stocks in corporations, the personal representative may appraise such stocks, as long as they appeared on an exchange, either regionally or nationally.
Under some circumstances, the personal representative can give an appraisal of certain life insurance policy proceeds, individual retirement accounts or annuities, if these items are payable to the deceased person's estate or if these items do not designate another person as a beneficiary.
Finally, although there are some exceptions, the personal representative may be able to appraise real property and leaseholds. A real estate appraisal can be ascertained from property tax assessments or the price of a contracted sale that occurs within 12 months following the death of the property owner.
All other property must be appraised by a professional. It is important when compiling the inventory of a person's estate to have an accurate account of its value. Doing so can help the probate process run more smoothly.