22 Nov 2013

Re-Appraising Valuables is an Important Planning Step

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Re-Appraising Valuables is an Important Planning Step

written by Lorie Hart (as seen in The Crain’s Cleveland Business 11/11/13)

No one likes surprises when it comes to their money and assets. You (and clients) want to know where you stand financially at any given moment. Most of us check our back accounts, stock portfolios, investments and insurance policies on a regular basis. But what about that dusty personal property appraisal for your artwork or collectibles that’s tucked away in the back of

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you filing cabinet (at least that ‘s where you think you put it)?

Here’s an all too common scenario: A loved one passes away and the trustee/heir is handling the estate. He/she finds said dusty appraisal while cleaning out personal files and learns that his/her loved one had an insurance policy for a collection of bronze sculptures, artwork and silver. The appraised value of the collection is $500.000. Wow! But wait … the appraisal

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is from 1998 and is

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for insurance coverage. The values are a snapshot of the marketplace and condition of the items 15 years ago when Furbies, Y2K and swing dancing were all the rage! Those things are long past, so why would anyone assume that a 1998 appraisal is still accurate? Unfortunately many people do.

How often should your artwork and collectibles be appraised? The short answer is at least every five years. Why?

Markets fluctuate. If you have an appraisal prior to 2009, you should seriously consider updating you information. The market crash of 2008 drastically affected the art market as well as all other markets. The fine art market has mostly recovered, however, certain collectibles, such as antique furniture, are still recovering. There are always exceptions, but those are reserved for the best of the best in the collection world.

Accurate insurance coverage. If you have a scheduled fine arts insurance policy, you should re-appraise every three to five yours. You want to make sure the value on the schedule is not below the appraised value.

Estate planning. Current appraisals are essential so that owners can plan for donation, estate tax and distribution and make adjustments to their plan to reflect the updated values.

Review and update your appraisals periodically and you won’t be surprised, which is a good thing.