Charmaine L. Then
Personal Property Appraiser
- Court Experience: Testified as expert witness for NYS Surrogate Court and prepared paralegal appraisal documents for the Public Administrations Office for Erie County since 1996
- Able to provide different types of appraisals, including fair market value for large collections, insurance, estate planning, charitable donation, collateral loan, or loss/damage
- In the appraisal field since 1994
What is it worth?
We all have personal property that we would like to know the value of in monetary terms. It is important to know which approach and method the appraiser will use to determine this. There are important considerations when hiring a personal property appraiser. Understanding the basics of the appraisal process and the terms can mean the difference between a qualified opinion that is useful or an opinion that is considered unqualified and worthless.
What appraisal services do you offer?
Written Appraisal The furnishings and other objects that fill your house have aesthetic value, sentimental value, and perhaps even shock value. Some, of course, have significant monetary value. Although it is the most quantifiable gauge of merit, the financial worth is a crucial step toward properly insuring them and thereby protecting your investment in the event of damage or loss. Moreover, appraisals are required by the Internal Revenue Service for parsing the tax implications of inheritances and charitable donations. An insurance appraisal states the estimated cost to replace an object in the current market. This is known as fair market value.
This is quite different from marketable cash value, which is the type of appraisal required for equitable distribution of estates, bequests and divorce settlements. This appraisal figure represents the amount you could expect to sell the item for right away at auction or through a dealer, which may be only 10-50% of retail replacement value. Our appraisal report fully describes each item, including date of manufacture, origin, maker or artist, medium, dimensions, provenance (if known) and condition. This report is accepted by the Internal Revenue Service, tax and estate planning professionals, insurance firms, banks and courts.
Digital Photographic Inventory
A digital photographic inventory furnishes you with an accurate record of your personal property in the event of a loss due to fire, theft or natural disaster. This is compiled in a neatly bound document, complete with a photo, article number and description of each item. It will exceed the specific requirements of personal property disbursements or insurance claims. Your personal inventory can also incorporate supporting documents such as appraisal records, bills of sale and certificates of authenticity. Estate probate inventory will assist lawyers and family members in dealing with the legal and emotional issues related to the disbursement of personal property.
The appraisal fee is based on the time expended, transcription of tapes, documents or photography, research time, transportation and travel expenses. It is possible, based on the number of items to be evaluated, to give a preliminary estimate in advance. Research time (eg. authenticating pieces; consulting other experts, auction records and catalogs) varies with each appraisal. The entire appraisal process usually takes a week to one month.
If you have any questions about the different types of appraisals or valuations, or if you wonder whether your piece is worth having appraised, please give Charmaine a call at (716) 812-1018 or fill out our contact form.