Estate Planning Appraisals:

Appraisals are of importance to both individuals in the preparations of wills and to their legal and financial advisors in determining the current market value for tangible personal property. Many individuals are unaware of the changes in the market and the financial significance of their possessions. Having an appraisal will identify objects appropriately and advise the owner as to value so that he or she may make informed decisions regarding his or her property. Personal property assets can often be a significant component of overall net worth, which is sometimes not recognized by a client's wealth management team.

A professionally prepared appraisal will assist all advisory partners in the proper management of assets. The appraisal also provides a cohesive report on the physical condition and characteristics of objects, approximate dates of manufacture, artist or maker identification and biography, provenance, analysis of comparable sales and photographic documentation.

Probate Appraisals:

Executors of estates commonly require a professionally prepared appraisal of tangible personal property to trust and estate attorney's, The Probate Court, or heirs to the estate. Our appraisals are done to the highest professional standards to include the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) as published by The Appraisal Foundation, which is authorized by Congress as the source of appraisal standards and appraiser qualifications.

Value is determined by evaluating comparable sales in the open market using Fair Market Value. All items are documented using the object ID system developed by The Getty Museum. This system has become the international standard for describing cultural objects. In preparing a probate appraisal, we go through the residence room by room evaluating all objects of value. Not every item is appraised individually, and items of very modest value and typical home furnishings are not included.

Family Division Appraisals:

This type of appraisal aids heirs in the equitable distribution of inventory as well as facilitates the marketing plan for heirlooms not selected. Family dynamics can sometimes be a complicated situation, particularly upon the death of a loved one. We have become skilled in counseling and guiding family members to promote a successful dispersal of inventory, resulting in a more amicable transfer of ownership. Family division appraisals also encompass the preparation of a document in the event of divorce.

Donation Appraisals:

Museums, educational institutions and other charitable, non-profit organizations benefit from the philanthropy of donors. When a donor wishes to make a non-cash donation, an appraisal of the object is required for tax purposes. Our appraisals meet all IRS requirements. In addition to the tax requirement, a donation appraisal is an aid to the recipient in describing the object professionally so that they make the proper signage and honor the legacy of the donor. We have provided qualified IRS appraisals ranging from single items to entire collections.

Insurance Appraisals:

A Homeowner Insurance Policy is often adequate for typical residential contents. Clients who have collections of fine art, antiques, silver, designer items or other rare and unusual objects should consider a professional appraisal as an important aspect of their insurance package. An insurance value is determined by using the retail replacement value of an object. Having an appraisal prior to moving is often recommended to document condition and establish value.

In the event of a disaster, such as a residential fire loss, or theft, an appraisal held by an insurance agent will be crucial in submitting a claim, and can assist law enforcement with the identification and recovery of items. Organizations, such as The International Foundation for Art Research (IFAR), The Art Loss Register and the FBI Art Theft Program rely on appraisals to aid in the identification and location of missing works.

Appraisal Services Offered:

  • Estate Planning - Regarding Tangible Personal Property
  • Probate
  • Family Division
  • Donation
  • Insurance

Russ Antiques & Auctions, LLC often has combined tasks of multiple formats of appraisals for a family, as needs change over time.

Competency - In regards to the above categories of appraisals: no appraiser, or appraisal firm, regardless of experience or education, can have knowledge of all cultural property genres. When we encounter something outside our area of expertise, we recognize the need for external resources and will either contact those experts ourselves or make recommendations to other professionals.

Appraisal Fees - The fee for the preparation of our unbiased and independent professional appraisal report is based on hourly rates. The value and provenance of the objects do not influence our rates.