An appraisal is an unbiased independent objective opinion of value of an object by a qualified professional appraiser based upon observable data relative to the appropriate market(s), value approach, valuation date, and other factors.
An appraisal is a key element in protecting your interests, often serving as the cornerstone in a financial transaction. An appraisal is required for most donations, for estate taxes, for insurance, and to prevent controversy by giving a basis for equitable division of assets in cases of divorce, downsizing, or inheritance.
Written appraisals are important legal documents, which accurately describe an object and establish its value for a variety of purposes. These may include:
Insurance: To determine the appropriate replacement cost, most commonly to be replaced at retail prices, of an object in order to correctly provide for insurance coverage.
Loss and/or Damage Claims: To determine the value of the object(s) lost or damaged and/or the amount of loss, if any, in value as a result of the damage. Utilized to aid or facilitate claims settlements.
Property Division:To determine the Fair Market Value of the object(s) in order to assist in the equitable distribution of property in a will.
Charitable Donations: To determine the Fair Market Value of the object(s) given to an accepting organization or institution in order to aid in establishing the donor's income tax deduction.
Informational and/or Market Related: To determine the Value of an object in anticipation of potential sale, or to determine the Value of an object under consideration for purchase, or to determine the Value of an object simply to know what it is worth within a specified market, or to determine specific information about an object such as maker, age, country of origin, condition, etc.
Estate: To determine the Fair Market Value of the object(s) in connection with the preparation of estate tax returns, or to assist in estate planning, and/or to aid in the distribution of assets.
Financial: To determine the Fair Market Value of an object for asset management, loan collateral and related financial and legal matters.
Properly prepared appraisals are individual written reports and are not simple price lists. The specific content and format of each appraisal report varies according to the individual function and purpose of the appraisal, but each appraisal should contain the following information: