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Artwork Appraisals in a High Asset Divorce

Posted on in Complex Property Litigation

TX divorce lawyerWhen considering divorce, many couples go into the property settlement process with the expectation that they will be required to parcel out certain personal possessions, decide who will retain the family home, and divide up the contents of any bank accounts. However, this task becomes much more difficult for couples with unique or costly assets, such as fine artwork, which can be difficult to appraise. Fortunately, the advent of digital valuation tools has made this process simpler, although divorcing couples are still encouraged to obtain an in-person appraisal from an expert before going forward with the property division process. To learn more about the different methods of asset appraisal available to you, please contact an experienced high asset divorce attorney who can advise you.

Appraisal Factors

Appraising fine art tends to be difficult, as it can actually have a number of monetary values. These values are determined primarily by assessing the market in which the work was sold or is to be offered for sale, which includes galleries, auctions, and art fairs. Appraisers then evaluate the data derived from sales of comparable items in similar galleries to determine a rough approximation of a piece’s value.

When selecting artwork with which to compare a piece, appraisers consider a variety of factors, including:

  • Style;
  • Country of origin;
  • Popularity of the artist;
  • Critical reception of the work;
  • Subject matter;
  • Dimensions;
  • Date of creation;
  • Condition; and
  • Provenance.

The newer, more advanced digital tools used by appraisers have made it easier than ever to evaluate these factors in relation to a specific piece of artwork.

Digital Valuation Tools

According to a study conducted by the Journal of Estate and Tax Planning, digital tools often offer the most reliable results when it comes to appraising collectibles, antiques, and fine art. However, like any other tool, it is important to use a digital valuation program that has certain characteristics. For instance, any valuation program used to appraise art in a divorce should facilitate the keeping of records that are specific to tangible personal property. Similarly, the tool should have the ability to scan invoices, authenticate documents, find records of previous appraisals, and store files.

Shared processing is also crucial to the fairness and accurateness of an appraisal, as they can simplify the cataloging of items, which in turn, makes it more likely that any property settlements will be fair. Programs with these characteristics can also help two spouses eliminate a significant portion of the back-and-forth deliberation that so often accompanies settlement negotiations. Finally, it is important that any digital valuation tools utilized by a couple during a divorce also provide easy access to specialist appraisers who can provide second opinions, clearly explain an object’s valuation, and clarify any misinformation.

Contact a Leander High Asset Divorce Attorney

Couples with unique assets, such as artwork, are often forced to grapple with difficult issues, such as obtaining an accurate appraisal. Please call Powers and Kerr, PLLC at 512-610-6199 to find out more about how a dedicated Georgetown high asset divorce lawyer can help.



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