VanNess & VanNess, P.A.

The value of appraising collectible items

If an individual in Florida or anywhere else owns art or other collectibles, he or she can leave them to family members or charities. However, estate and tax laws may be different for such items compared to other property, like a home or investment account. According to the IRS, a collectible can be anything from a rare alcoholic beverage to an art collection. Other items may also be labeled as collectibles at the tax agency's discretion.

It may be worthwhile for a person to get an appraisal while he or she is still living to get a proper valuation of what could be a rare item. It can also be helpful for someone to provide the names and contact information of those who could conduct an accurate valuation after he or she passes. Ideally, multiple parties will give their opinions as a variety of factors could influence an item's perceived value.

Getting a consensus on what something is worth can reduce the odds that an item is sold for less than market value. It can also make it easier to determine how much an estate is worth for tax purposes. Creating an estimate of an estate's value can help a person create an estate plan designed to minimize estate taxes or capital gains taxes if an item is sold.

The loss of a loved one is often a difficult time for a family. Therefore, creating a clear and thorough estate plan may make it easier for siblings, children or grandchildren to settle a deceased family member's affairs. An attorney may be able to help create a trust or other documents needed to make a plan tailored to an individual's needs. A lawyer can also look over any documents already created to determine if any changes need to be made to them.

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