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What and Why have Appraisals


An appraisal is an opinion of value1. An appraisal can also be defined as the act or process of developing a thoroughly researched and well supported opinion of value by an impartial and properly qualified individual. The opinion can be expressed as a specific amount, a range of values, or in relationship to a previous value opinion. Appraisal may also be used as an adjective (i.e., of or pertaining to appraising and related functions such as appraisal practice or appraisal services).


Appraisal reports are required for uses such as estate planning, charitable contributions, estate or gift tax preparation liabilities, insurance or damage and loss claims, equitable distributions, fair rental and sale decisions, collateral loans, and legal disputes. Appraisals conducted for fine and decorative art and antiques enable owners to obtain an independent opinion of value with descriptions of the appraised property included in the report. Clients may need values for paintings, photographs, prints, maps, sculpture, furniture, rugs and carpets, ceramics, china, silver and silver-plate, metalware, lamps, candelabra, glassware, textiles, object d’art (miscellaneous items), and antiques. Clients who own or manage such objects, including

individual collectors, advisors, institutions, galleries, insurance companies, lending institutions, and attorneys, should engage a professional personal property appraiser with expertise in fine or decorative art and antiques.


Personal property is defined in the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal. Practice (USPAP) as:identifiable tangible objects that are considered by the general public as being “personal” - for example, furnishings, artwork, antiques, gems and jewelry, collectibles, machinery and equipment; all tangible property that is not classified as real estate.2The main characteristic of personal property is its ability to be moved without damaging either itself or the real property to which it may be attached. Personal property can be tangible or intangible.

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