An appraisal in the case of an estate can be helpful and is frequently necessary to facilitate equitable distribution of property amongst the heirs. The appraiser normally assigns a fair market value for this function. In some states an estate tax appraisal of the decedent’s estate may be required upon death. And if the estate is sufficiently large, an appraisal for federal estate tax purposes might also be required. The fair market value appraisals done for these two estate tax functions can also be used to assist in the division of property among heirs.