Business Valuations for Estate Tax Purposes

Eton delivers reliable, accurate, and audit-defensible valuations that ensures compliance with tax laws and minimizes tax liabilities. 

Rest assured that you are protected at every step of the process and that your estate is in good hands.

Trusted By Over 1,000 Companies

Why Choose Eton as Your Estate Tax Valuation Provider

Losing a loved one or a business partner is an incredibly challenging time, and dealing with the financial aspects of their estate can add additional stress.

When a business is part of the estate, determining its value for estate tax purposes is crucial.

An incorrect valuation can lead to additional taxes, fines imposed by the IRS, or legal disputes with tax authorities, prolonging the estate settlement process.

A professional business valuation provider like Eton can protect you from these risks.

Eton provides expert estate and gift tax valuation, ensuring our valuations adhere to IRS valuation guide parameters and recognized valuation discounts.

Our clients appreciate the depth with which we grasp their objectives, crafting tailored and rigorous valuation reports to support generational asset preservation strategies.

When you work with us, you’ll get accurate, timely valuations in as short as 10 days at reasonable prices. 

While it’s rare, if the IRS audits the valuation, we stand by you throughout the entire process. Our senior staff, who often have prior experience working with auditors, will work with the IRS to ensure the audit is as seamless and stress-free as possible.

Diverse Experience

With a wealth of experience in diverse scenarios, our valuation experts deliver practical estate and gift tax valuations, offering in-depth, defensible quantitative and qualitative valuation reports that adhere to the requirements of IRC § 6501(c)(9).

Unparalleled Expertise

Founded by securities lawyers from top law schools / law firms and staffed with finance professionals trained by the Big Four and other prominent financial services firms, Eton brings intellectual and quantitative rigor unmatched by others.

Tailored Approach

Every estate is unique. We take the time to understand your unique circumstances and use a combination of proven methods and proprietary tools to deliver data-driven valuations.

Exceptional Customer Service

Every engagement is performed by our team of highly trained lawyers, accountants, and Chartered Financial Analysts, who will answer all your questions and guide you through every step of the process.

"As a former Gunderson lawyer, I co-founded Eton to bring the precision, efficiency, and the obsessive client service of corporate securities law to business valuation. I'm especially proud that our worldwide team of Big 4 trained CFAs has adopted that client service mantra wholeheartedly.

Our entire focus is on delivering audit-defensible, rigorous, and timely valuations without the inefficient back-and-forth of other firms. Client service is our religion. We always go the extra mile to overdeliver for every client."

Chris Walton, JD
President & CEO
Eton Venture Services
Previously at Gunderson Dettmer / Stanford Law

Our Business Valuation Process for Estate Tax Purposes

Day 1
Day 2
Day 8
Day 10
Information Collection
Valuation Modeling and Analysis
Draft Report Delivered; Client Review and Approval
Final Report Delivered
Audit Support


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What is a business valuation for tax purposes?

When someone who owns a business passes away, the government needs to know how much that business is worth to calculate the estate tax. 

Estate tax is a tax on the value of the deceased person’s estate (all the money and property they owned) before it’s passed on to their heirs.

Business valuation for estate tax purposes is the process of determining the fair market value of a business owned by the deceased. This is done to ensure that the estate pays the correct amount of tax based on the actual value of the business.

You need this business valuation for: 

  1. Tax Calculation: To figure out how much estate tax needs to be paid, the IRS or other tax authorities require a precise value of all assets, including any businesses.
  2. Fair Distribution: If the business is going to be divided among heirs, knowing its true value helps ensure that everyone gets their fair share.
  3. Planning Ahead: Business owners often plan for their estate to minimize taxes and make sure their family is taken care of. Knowing the value of the business helps in making these plans.


It’s important that this valuation is accurate to avoid:

  • Additional Taxes: The estate may owe more in taxes if the valuation is found to be understated.
  • Fines: The IRS can impose fines for inaccurate or misleading valuations.
  • Legal Disputes: Incorrect valuations can result in legal battles with tax authorities, prolonging the estate settlement process.

This is why we recommend working with a professional business valuation provider like Eton to protect against these risks.

At Eton, this is our process for valuing a business for estate tax purposes:

Step 1. Information Collection

First, we’ll have a conversation to understand your needs and the specifics of the business.

We’ll tell you exactly what documents we need from you to get started, such as financial statements and details about the business’s assets.

Once you’ve provided these documents, we’ll review them within one day. At this stage, every valuation is assigned a dedicated manager and analyst to ensure accuracy and efficiency.

Step 2. Valuation Modelling and Analysis

We then use our extensive databases and expert analysis skills to draft your business valuation.

This involves detailed financial analysis, market comparisons, asset valuation, and earnings evaluation.

Step 3. Draft Reports Delivered

On day 6 or 7, we’ll send you a draft report that includes the calculation data, methods used, assumptions made, and our conclusions.

This comprehensive exhibit will provide a clear understanding of how we arrived at the business’s value.

Step 4. Client Review and Approval

Next, we’ll invite you to review the draft during a call. Most of our clients (85%) finalize the valuation on the first draft.

If any changes are needed, we’ll make those adjustments within one day and send the revised draft back to you, aiming to finalize everything in two days.

Step 5. IRS Support

While it’s rare, if the IRS audits the valuation, we stand by you throughout the entire process.

Our senior staff, who often have prior experience working with auditors, will work with the IRS to ensure the audit is as seamless and stress-free as possible.

Rest assured, our valuations have a strong track record of withstanding audits.

If you’d like to work with us, please get in touch with me here.

Eton’s valuations typically take ten days but can be expedited should you need it.

We start with a consultation with you and collect all the files and data we need. Then our expert valuation and modeling team works to prepare a draft report detailing your gift & estate tax valuation.

The final step is you’ll review the report, where there’ll be an opportunity to discuss your valuation. We’ll then make the needed changes and finalize it.

The total process takes a maximum of 10 days.

Estate tax valuations vary in cost depending on the speed and complexity of your assets. Please reach out to us for a free consultation to discuss costs.

The alternate valuation for estate tax purposes is an option that allows the estate to be valued at a date six months after the decedent’s death, instead of the date of death. This can only be used if it results in a lower estate value and, consequently, a lower estate tax liability.

Key Points:

  • Eligibility: This option is available only if it reduces both the value of the gross estate and the estate tax due.
  • Six-Month Period: The valuation date is exactly six months after the date of death. If assets are sold or distributed during this period, their value at the time of sale or distribution is used instead.
  • IRS Form: To elect the alternate valuation, you must file IRS Form 706 and make the election on a timely filed estate tax return.


  • Tax Savings: It can result in significant estate tax savings if the value of the estate’s assets declines within the six-month period.
  • Strategic Planning: Provides flexibility in managing the estate’s assets and liabilities to minimize tax burdens.


If a business’s value drops significantly in the months following the owner’s death due to market conditions, using the alternate valuation date can reduce the estate’s overall tax liability.

The estate tax is typically the responsibility of the donor, although in some cases the done may pay it instead.
The estate tax applies to any transfer of property, whether direct or indirect, where the recipient does not provide full consideration for money or money’s worth.

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