What is the "Right" Value in Appraising Property for Federal Estate Taxes?

What is the appropriate value, of course, depends on the assets. For appraisal purposes, on a home, use comparable sales, or if there is no market, the highest price; for that Van Gogh painting, use auction prices or appraisals; insurance policies in your name, the face value; for a sole proprietorship, use the balance sheet for the valuation date; Microsoft stock, the average of the high and low selling prices quoted on the valuation date; jewelry, its retail value; your yacht, try a yacht broker for an appraisal; employee benefits, the value of the payments made to the beneficiaries.