John Sewell This Old Thing!

Articles By John

Protect Your Estate: Retain an Appraiser

One thing is for certain. At some point in a person’s life, they will either be an estate executor or be closely associated with one, in the process of carrying out the wishes put forth in someone’s will.

The other thing that is certain is that a wise executor will employ the services of an appraiser.

Whether a person’s assets will be sold or divided, the executor making those decisions must know what their fair market value is so they can move through the process with confidence. Even if items will be gifted, no one can move forward both wisely and confidently without knowing values. These days, being informed is in fashion and guesswork is out.

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“WHOOPS!” Doesn’t Cut it When Estate Value is Not Accurate

For executors, who are not usually trained in formal estate-assessment techniques, calculating an accurate fair-market value for an estate can be tricky. Even worse, basing this critical information on guesswork can leave you open to complicated legal matters, not to mention strained relationships with friends and relatives. This is where the services of a skilled appraiser can help.

The beautiful amber vase pictured here was almost sold for a fraction of its worth. How? An unscrupulous antiques dealer tried to talk its owner into selling it while he was viewing a dining room suite she had for sale. Fortunately, the woman’s daughter felt her spidey senses tingling, and contacted me through my newspaper column.

Sure enough, the vase turned out to be the work of renowned French Art Nouveau glassmaker, Rene Lalique, and worth upwards of $20,000. This lady narrowly escaped losing a substantial sum of money, but will you be so lucky?

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