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How Valuable Collections Are Appraised in a High Asset Divorce

Many Columbus married couples who are planning for high asset divorces will need to deal with valuable collections that they have acquired during the marriage. In some cases, one of the spouses may have started the collection prior to the marriage, and the couple may have added to it during their years of marriage. In other circumstances, the couple might have decided to start a collection together, building an archive of a particular sculptor’s work or a library of rare books. These collections can be worth a considerable amount of money, and the market value of the collection may have fluctuated significantly during the marriage. Depending upon the particular type of object in the collection and the nature of the collection itself, the objects may be more valuable individually or as a collection, and the market values may be of a nature that they remain relatively stable or wildly fluctuating. 

What do you need to do to ensure that the collection is accurately valued or appraised? Consider the following information from our Columbus high asset divorce attorneys.

Create an Inventory of the Collection

It is important to create an inventory of the collection if you do not already have one. When you are creating an inventory, it is important to identify all aspects of each object in the collection, including a full description of it, its location and date and price of purchase, details about the acquisition of the object, any provenance information that will be relevant to an appraisal, and details concerning condition. Each object in the collection should have an individual entry in the inventory to clarify what is currently in the collection and whether it should be classified as separate or marital property based on the date of purchase or method of acquisition. 

Gather Any Previous Appraisals and Insurance Information

You will need to locate any previous appraisals you have had of the collection as a whole, or of individual objects within the collection. In addition to previous appraisal documents, it is also important to gather insurance information pertaining to the collection, including details about the insurance value you listed for the collection as a whole or for individual objects within the collection. For collections that tend to fluctuate in value based on market popularity and other factors, you will likely have multiple appraisals and various insurance valuations from over the years. For example, certain artists or designers may be particularly attractive on the market following an exhibition or a death, but the market value may decline in the years that follow.

Find a Specialist Appraiser

It will be essential to find an appraiser who has experience handling collections in a genre and form similar to yours, as Consumer Reports emphasizes. For example, if you have a collection of rare nineteenth-century novels, you will want to find an appraiser with experience handling related appraisals for individual collectors and auction houses. If you own a collection of twentieth-century pop art, you would not want an appraiser who has expertise in establishing likely auction values for nineteenth-century portraiture.

Contact a Columbus High Net Worth Divorce Lawyer

If you have questions or concerns about appraisals for a valuable collection, one of our Columbus high asset divorce lawyers can help. Contact the Lawrence Law Office today.

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