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Frequently Asked Questions

What is "personal property"?
Personal property is tangible, movable property that is utilitarian, collectible, or decorative, or a combination of all three.Why should I have my personal property inventoried?

Why should I have my personal property inventoried?

Inventories and appraisals are useful in estate planning and dissolution. An inventory provides a complete record of the personal property in the estate and an appraisal provides values that can be utilized in settlement and distribution. 
Insurance companies stress the importance of home inventories. In the event of a burglary, fire, or other disaster, the inventory will be useful to the property owner, the insurer, the police, and others. It is unlikely a victim could recall all of the details of things that are missing or damaged.

Why should I have my personal property appraised?

Charitable donations of personal property claiming a deduction of $5,000 or more require information from a formal, written appraisal. Why should I have my personal property appraised? 

The value of appreciable residential contents is continually increasing. Knowing the value of these objects is in your best interest. 

Charitable donations of personal property claiming a deduction of $5,000 or more require information from a formal, written appraisal. 

Inventories and appraisals are useful in estate planning and dissolution. An inventory provides a complete record of the personal property in the estate and an appraisal provides values that can be utilized in settlement and distribution.

Appraisals are utilized in insurance scheduling, to be certain that proper coverage is provided, and in reaching a settlement for damages and losses incurred to covered property.

Why can't I appraise my own personal property?

The Internal Revenue Service will not accept self-appraisals. They rely on knowledgeable appraisers, as do attorneys and insurance companies.


Who uses an appraisal service?

Individuals who need inventories of household goods for insurance and estate planning will utilize an appraiser or inventory specialist. 

Attorneys that need appraisals in the settling of estates, or objective inventories for division of personal property.

The Trust Departments of banks use appraisals prior to personal property distribution or sale. 

Insurance Companies in preparation of insurance policies or in settling claims or loss. 
Moving Companies use appraisals to assess loss or damage of property for an amicable settlement.

What is a qualified appraiser?

A qualified appraiser has spent years studying history, design, craftsmanship, product dating, and appraisal practices. An appraiser will keep abreast of changing values and laws, as well as continually updating appraisal skills by attending workshops and skill courses.





What costs are involved?

In addition to the hourly fee for appraisals, we charge for all expenses incurred in preparing the appraisal. 

In addition to the fee for inventories, calculated by the square footage inventoried, there is a fee for additional copies, beyond two, of the inventory.


What do I receive for the inventory fee?

  • Two copies of a database, stored on password protected CD-ROMs.
  • Your inventory will include images and descriptive text of your household contents.
  • Certification that the inventory was conducted by a third party, having no ownership interest, in the property documented.

What do I receive for the appraisal fee?

  • Initial consultation, contract for appraisal
  • An on-site examination where photographs will be taken
  • Consultation with other professional appraisers if necessary
  • Researched values assigned to your personal property
  • Two copies of a professionally written document that describes your property clearly and accurately.

What is in a complete appraisal report?

  • A cover document explaining in detail the purpose and function of the appraisal.
  • The methodology and resources used, including market analysis and market(s) selected.
  • A complete and accurate description of the property written in such a manner that it can be identified without photos.
  • The date(s) and location of inspection, and the effective date of value.
  • A statement by the appraiser that he or she has no financial interest in the property or that such interest is disclosed in the report.
  • The appraiser’s qualifications and signature.