You must pay the fair market value. If the county tax website uses fair market value, then that should work. But if it doesn’t, you could run into trouble. A Zillow valuation or a realtor’s assessment of value would be better. You should be able to discount the market value by 5 percent to take into account that you wouldn’t be using a realtor. All this said, however, only a local elder law attorney can advise you about local practices.
Harry S. Margolis practices elder law, estate, and special needs planning in Boston and Wellesley, Massachusetts. He is the founder of ElderLawAnswers.com and answers consumer questions about estate planning issues here and at AskHarry.info.