The following points are meant to clarify and explain the significance of hiring a qualified, professional appraiser for your art collection:

An appraisal is a LEGAL DOCUMENT; it is as important as a will. It is the only way to accurately describe the value of your art collection.

When an appraisal is recorded during the creation of a will or trust, it establishes a value for the property. This allows the owner and future recipients of the property to chart its VALUE OVER TIME.

An appraisal provides PEACE OF MIND to the owner of the artworks and to the recipients of the estate. An impartial appraisal will negate any disputes over value, and lets the estate process proceed in a timely and straightforward manner.

Most INSURANCE COMPANIES WILL ONLY PAY out the price the object has been insured for and not what it “might” be worth.

There is a big difference between value “estimates” and a full-fledged appraisal. The quality of the art appraiser is evidenced in the quality of the written report. An official appraisal is an extensive, unbiased documentation which includes a comprehensive analysis of the artist, history and market valuation that together are used to determine a true value. A single page letter without reference to USPAP is not satisfactory.

Since Appraisers are part of a self-regulated profession, it is ESSENTIAL TO HIRE A CERTIFIED APPRAISER who is recognized by a major appraisal accrediting organization such as the Appraiser Association of America (AAA).

Per Internal Revenue Service guidelines, a QUALIFIED APPRAISER needs:

To have earned an appraisal designation from an appraisal organization

To be USPAP tested

To have been in business for over three years

To regularly perform appraisals for compensation

To have experience in valuing the type of property you are seeking to have appraised

It is important to remember that appraisers do not authenticate. APPRAISERS ASSIGN VALUE.

The appraisal profession is neither well known, nor well-understood; however, professional appraisers provide invaluable service to art collectors while maintaining the credibility of the art market.