What is a Personal Property Appraisal...and why do I need one?
February 24, 2016 Most of us think of real estate – the house and land, when we hear estate appraisal. However the contents of a home, office, vacation property and vehicles are what are known as personal property. A qualified personal property appraiser helps us understand what they are worth. According to the Appraisal Foundation: “Fine art, jewelry, antiques, general household contents and machinery and equipment all require a personal property appraisal to determine their value for sale, acquisitions, taxes, estate planning, insurance purposes, and more. Personal property appraisers are trained to assess the quality, rarity, authenticity, provenance, and desirability of items.” An appraisal is the act or process of developing an opinion of value, estimating cost or calculating the present worth of future earnings of property. The appraisal may be a written or oral report. Federal Estate Tax Law dictates that the value of a decedent’s estate is reported on Form 706. This provides a snapshot of the net financial affairs of the decedent. Currently a personal property appraisal is required with the IRS filing when the estate is valued at $5 million dollars or more. Most of us do not have to worry about the federal estate tax as our estates are less than $5 million dollars in total value. However, estate settlement in the state of Arizona requires a probate filing including an inventory of assets and valuation of these assets. A personal property appraisal is beneficial and addresses both the requirements of probate as well as providing the necessary valuation to guide division among beneficiaries and liquidation. Why Should You Use a Professional Appraiser? The role of any appraiser is to produce a credible opinion of value based on thorough, unbiased research and analysis. A qualified appraiser has gone through extensive education and testing and has significant experience in the field. Appraisers in good standing with the International Society of Appraisers must also comply with appraisal standards, known as the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practices (USPAP), set by The Appraisal Foundation. They also complete continuing education courses to ensure awareness of changes in valuation methods and techniques, technology, and the marketplace.