Last updated on July 12th, 2023 at 08:21 pm

Everyone knows divorces are hard. Beyond the emotional trauma of breaking with someone you had planned to spend your life with, there’s a host of legal and practical difficulties to wade through. Figuring out how to untangle shared accounts and divide up everything you bought together can be challenging for former spouses even on the best of terms.

That’s why it’s important to ensure you know the value of your personal property. By getting an appraisal from a neutral third party, you can make sure you’re splitting everything fairly.

What is an Appraiser?

An appraiser is an expert who can determine the value of your personal property for resale, tax, or legal purposes. Estate appraisers have years of experience dealing with rare, old, or collectible items and are able to help you accurately assess the value of your possessions as well as your property. 

When do I Need an Appraiser?

Estate appraisers are most commonly needed after a death or during a divorce. An appraisal is needed in divorces to determine the value of personal property in order to fairly divide assets. 

To learn more about estate appraisal after a death, click here

What Happens During a Divorce Appraisal?

An expert appraiser will go through your possessions, taking note of important or valuable items. This typically involves going room by room, snapping photos, and making notes of details. Key items in estate appraisals often include paintings, furniture, and estate jewelry.

The appraiser will then take the information they collect and conduct research to determine the value of personal property. The appraiser will then prepare a report that can be used in further divorce negotiations. 

Estate Appraisal to Reduce Conflict 

In some cases, it can be helpful to hire an appraiser and discuss which items you want to sell and keep early in the process. If you’re not able to have a civil discussion, a mediator can help with this process. This can help make dividing assets easier, and reduce conflict in the process.    

With some items, it will be easy to decide who gets what. Any items that someone purchased on their own before entering the relationship or inherited from a relative will likely go with that person. Shared possessions can be much more difficult.

An estate appraiser can assign fair market values to your possessions, not only making it easier to sell unwanted items, but also helping you fairly divide items you do want to keep. 

In some cases, an appraiser may be able to help you find buyers for the furniture, jewelry, or other collectible items that you don’t want to keep. 

Finding a Respected Seattle Appraiser

Fruitcocktail offers more than 20 years of experience helping clients with appraisals throughout the Pacific Northwest. With a well-trained eye and the extensive knowledge that comes from years in the industry, we are well-equipped to help you accurately determine the value of your possessions. 


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