Obtaining date of death values of publicly traded stocks for probate and tax purposes can be laborious.
The proper valuation method is to average the high and the low selling price on the date of death. If the decedent died on a weekend or a day the markets weren’t open, you obtain the high-low average for the previous trading day and the following trading day and average them.
For decedent’s who owned a number of stocks, the work involved can be extensive and time-consuming. Added to the burden is the need to account for dividends, stock splits, and mergers.
By far, the best resource to help you get the right values quickly and easily is EVP Office’s EstateVal. The software is free to download and costs about $1.55 per security entered. This program is the same one the IRS uses to verify stock prices on 706’s. To calculate date of death values, all you have to do is enter the CUSIP number for the security and the number of shares. It does the rest, including automatically accounting for dividends and stock-splits. It can also handle certain types of savings bonds.
If you don’t know the CUSIP number for a given security, visit the company’s website, contact a broker, or find it by visiting this Fidelity Investments page.