All assets owned by the decedent as of the date of death are valued at fair market value. Therefore, many assets like; real estate, closely held family businesses, antiques, and collections need to be appraised by a professional appraiser. Stocks and bonds are evaluated by looking at the stock market on the date of death. The value for investments like stocks is the average of the low and high for the date of death. If a person dies on a Saturday or Sunday, then you must average the high and low on Friday and Monday. Bank accounts and certificates of deposit are determined by looking at the balance as of the date of death. The fair market value of the assets in an estate is the basis for probate, estate taxes, and fee calculations.