Protect Your Estate: Retain an Appraiser

antique china setOne 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.


An experienced and reputable appraiser is the best person to assign values to the plethora of items found in any given household. This is difficult, at times, even for an appraiser with an abundance of experience, as markets and values fluctuate readily these days. It is impossible for anyone else.

Fair market value is what one might expect to see an item priced in an antique show, shop, gallery or other retail outlet. Also, an appraiser can suggest the best ways with which to handle items. It’s critical these days to have “all the ducks in a row” to realize true value for the estate. “Which route to go” is the most common question asked when options can be auction, consignment or selling directly online or to a dealer.

A wise client of mine employed me to assess her art collection. She thought it was $12,000 total, when it was more than $150,000. Another woman, years previous, had picked up a rhinoceros horn cup for $1.00 at a church sale. About two years ago she consigned it to auction and watched it bring over three quarters of a million dollars!

The work of an trustee can often be emotionally, and laboriously exhausting. An appraiser will lessen the workload by providing researched-backed information with a sensitive touch. The likelihood of things of value being overlooked or thrown out is hugely lessened. This provides knowledge and peace of mind, for the trustee, that there is much less chance of legal issues occurring down the road from unhappy parties involved in the process. And recipients, of the wishes of the estate, are more likely to be satisfied as well.

For a list of ERAssure Estate Service Providers in your area

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Downloadable Resources

Want more information on planning, preparing and administering an estate? Download our easy to use reference guides and resources to help you along the way.


  • Executor Liability Insurance - Return the completed application to our office to find out if you are eligible for executor liability insurance.


  • Fiduciary Bonds - Have you been asked to provide a bond for the estate? Download the application and follow the directions to apply for a bond.


  • Free Executor Guide - If you have been asked to be an executor or are acting as an executor this guide will help you understand your responsibilities and help track your activities.


  • Free Will Preparation Guide - A step to step guide to the questions you will need to address when preparing your will.


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