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Rowe Appraisal Group specializes in completing real estate appraisals for Estates and Trusts


Don't make the mistake of hiring an inexperienced appraiser that is not familiar with the estate, trust, and financial planning appraisal process.

We know that settling an estate is not easy.  Whether you are an executor, trustee, or professional advisor (accountant, attorney, etc), there are many different hurdles you have to overcome. You can count on us to handle the appraisal portion of the process quickly and with professionalism and integrity.   We have worked with many attorneys, accountants, and financial planners in the area and are familiar with estate laws and the IRS’ rules and requirements for an appraisal.  This can include the definition of value specific to them, the appropriate forms required for non-cash charitable contributions (Form 8283), etc.  Don't risk your return being challenged by the IRS and have their experts refute the estate's valuation.  This could end up costing the estate additional monies when filing the 706 Estate Tax return.  Our goal is to make this process as painless as possible for you.  In choosing Rowe Appraisal Group, you will be engaging a firm with Certified Residential Appraisers who have dealt with these situations before and can be assured that you will have an appraisal that will meet IRS and Illinois state agencies’ guidelines and requirements.


And now the answer to the BIGGEST QUESTION on your mind

Why Rowe Appraisal Group?

  • 1
    One Stop Shop:  We have both Certified Residential Appraisers and Certified General Appraisers (Commercial).  That means if you are dealing with an estate with not only multiple properties, but multiple property types, we can handle it all.
  • 2
    Experience:  We have experience in all aspects of estate and trust planning.  We understand how to navigate the requirements and guidelines of the IRS and Illinois state agencies to ensure the most stress free experience possible as it pertains to the appraisal.
  • 3
    Confidentiality:  We work in full compliance with the confidentiality and ethics provision of USPAP (Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice), which will ensure that your estate appraisal is handled with the utmost discretion and professionalism.  
  • 4
    Reviews:  With over 70 five-star reviews on Google alone, you can trust that you are in good hands.  We have included a few below.  Don't take our word for.  Just Google "Rowe Appraisal Group" to read what others are saying about us.  

The Highest Reviewed Real Estate Appraisal Firm in the Chicago Area!!!

He's a rare breed, and an excellent appraiser!

“Paul is unusual in that he takes the time to understand not only the property, but the important details of the neighborhood. I'm sure that's significant everywhere, but in Chicago the neighborhood, and often the block are critical to the real value of a property. He also understands that value is affected by the variety of uses a property can present. He's a rare breed, and an excellent appraiser!”

Maureen Murnane
- Chicago Real Estate Agent

Working with him was a highlight in what can be a stressful situation...."

"Paul's appraisal gave us the confidence that we were making the right decision for our family with a large-scale remodel. Paul is timely, knowledgeable and thorough. Working with him was a highlight in what can be a stressful situation."

Kristin Petersen
- Homeowner

Paul digs in, does his due diligence and is able to come up with a number that not only can be relied upon but can stand up in court (and has)......"

"Paul Rowe is a consummate professional. In appraisal work there are hard facts and there is nuance. Paul does not ignore factors that are outside of the facts that could influence the value of a piece of property - such as litigation regarding the property, conditions of the immediate neighborhood that might not be affecting other similar properties a few blocks away. Paul digs in, does his due diligence and is able to come up with a number that not only can be relied upon but can stand up in court (and has). Absolutely one the top appraisers in the Chicago metropolitan area."

Erica Minchella
- Real Estate Attorney

Reasons for getting an appraisal

Establishing a new tax basis: The "step-up in basis rule" says that the cost basis is equal to the value as of the date of death.  This can be significant and can allow the beneficiary to avoid any unrealized embedded capital gains.  We strongly recommend getting an appraisal as of the date of the first spouse's death to set the basis for capital gains.  This creates a "pass through" to the surviving spouse and no taxes are due at that time.  When the second spouse sells the property or dies, capital gains are due, but only for an increase over the basis established when the first spouse passed.

Example:  Let's say a couple purchased their home 20 years ago for $250,000 and it has appreciated in value to $350,000 as of the date of death of the husband.  An appraisal would help establish this new basis of $350,000.  A surviving spouse sells the property a few years later for $350,000, she would not have to pay taxes on the $100,000 gain in value.


Non-tax purposes:  Another reason is when the executor of the estate needs a value to partition the estate.  When a decedent has children or multiple beneficiaries and owns multiple properties, it can be tricky.  In a best case scenario, the siblings would agree to sell the properties and split the proceeds.  Because an appraiser is by law an unbiased, disinterested 3rd party, they can be a great tool to use so that everyone is comfortable with the process. We have run into many situations where the siblings can't agree on a real estate agent to list the property because of certain previous relationships or disagreements on what the list price and strategy should be.   An appraisal by a qualified appraiser can help ease some of these tensions.  We have even been known to meet with the siblings after the appraisal has been delivered and answer any and all questions regarding the appraisal.  

Example:   Partitioning the estate can also result in needing two appraisals for each property.  Let's say the date of death was 6 months ago.  One appraisal would be needed for a value as of the date of death.  If the beneficiaries decided they don't want to manage these properties and would rather sell, they would need a "current market value" as well.  Often the market has not appreciated or depreciated significantly and the two values would be similar.  In these cases, we can inform the client that the "date of death" appraisal could also be used to determine a list price for sale.  In a volatile market with rapidly changing values, we use our best professional judgement when determining the scope of work and can offer a significant discount on the 2nd appraisal.


Probate:  Most people try to avoid probate as it can be a long and costly process but often this is unavoidable. Sometimes a will has been left, but it may be contested, unclear, or invalid.  Once in probate, the court will need to know what the cash value of the property is as of the date of death.  They will typically require and rely on a appraisal by a licensed and certified appraiser that will provide a value so the estate can be divided equally.  The appraiser is often appointed by the judge.

Paul Rowe

Owner/Chief Appraiser

About the ​Owner

After graduating from Eastern Illinois with a Bachelor's Degree in Marketing and then 5 years in the Sales Industry, Paul finally found his calling in the Appraisal Profession.  Over the last 10 years, he has been recognized nationally as a top appraiser, has been published in Working RE magazine, and currently sits on the Appraisal Advisory Panel for the leading provider of education in the Appraisal Profession.

Frequently Asked Questions

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What is a Retrospective Appraisal?

Call us today at (847) 863-5776
Email:  paul@roweappraisalgroup.com


Disclaimer:  We are not an attorney, CPA, or enrolled agent and have never played any of them on TV.  Be sure to consult your tax advisor, attorney, or financial planner on the specific laws and regulations that pertain to your unique situation.  


Copyright - Rowe Appraisal Group, Inc.

Call us today at (847) 863-5776