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The personal representative makes the election by indicating so on IRS Form 706 at line 1, page 2, part 3. The estate must be large enough that it will owe estate taxes, and using the alternate valuation date must reduce that tax liability for the estate to qualify.
If the alternate valuation date values are used, all assets must be revalued, not just those that have gone down in value.
If it was all cash then no.
The election must be used to reduce the tax liability for the the estate. There has to be an estate reason for the valuation.
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