In providing appraisals and consultation for insurance companies, insurance adjusters, UPS, Fedex, and other shipping companies for over 35 years, I have found that they need specialized services for their clients because of their various needs. Appraisals have been provided for:
- scheduling for insurance coverage,
- appraisal reports for loss or damage,
- restoration estimates and consultation reports after damage.
Insurance appraisal reports are necessary for shipping or moving, in order to insure that the property is properly identified, photographed, and insured before transport. Hypothetical reports, after the damage, can be done if the object has been totally destroyed. These appraisals can be based on photographic records. Forensic reports can be prepared in cases where there are only a few pieces remaining or if the insurance company suspects a fraudulent claim.
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Very often, heirs of estates will arrive at their family home with no idea of how to proceed. Lawyers hoping to close the estate as soon as possible often are not familiar with what items of value might be in their clients’ homes. They must rely on their client to inform them. Very often this knowledge is not given to the attorney, fiduciary, trust officer, executor, or CPA. Frequently, there are no receipts of purchases, insurance reports, or lists or provenance of items found in the home. The decedent purchased the items over a lifetime, many times for a minimal amount, lived with the items over the years, and have not realized they have increased in value. Good insurance coverage is important if these items are being shipped to heirs.
For example, a plein air painting purchased for $75 from the trunk of an artist’s car in 1950 can be worth over $35,000 today. The decedent still considered the painting worth $75, the children consider it a painting that has been on the wall for a long time with no particular value. A picker or neighbor could buy it for $150 and the family would think they are making a big profit. We frequently receive calls on this type of situation.
It’s too late! Call me before it happens. Always get an educated opinion backed up by research.