Equitable Distribution Appraisal Services

What is an Equitable Distribution Appraisal?

If you’ve ever had to split things up fairly between people, you know how difficult it can be. It can sometimes rival the exactitude to which some restaurant diners try to calculate their individual charges on a group check. Imagine the level of frustration that can occur when the size and complexity of the charges jump from restaurant meals to an inherited estate!

An equitable distribution appraisal is not terribly different from providing those individual diners with separate checks. More technically speaking, an equitable distribution appraisal seeks to establish a just and fair distribution of property once jointly held, or a just and fair compensation in the absence of that possibility. Equitable doesn’t necessarily mean equal. Just like the separate restaurant checks, each diner’s charges will be different depending on the meals they chose. And so, equitable distributions strive to be fair based on the choices and arrangements made between the involved parties and their agents.

When Do You Need an Equitable Distribution Appraisal?

You may need an equitable distribution appraisal if you and the other person (or people) can’t agree or know how to split up the property yourselves without some outside assistance. In these cases, the value of the properties may not matter as much as the fairness with which they are distributed in the eyes of the participants.

Common Situations in Which an Equitable Distribution Appraisal May be Required.

When You Are Getting a Divorce

In this case, the court may wish to know the fair market value, the net value, or some other definition of value of the marital property once owned jointly by you and your spouse. The type of value used is dictated by your state of residence and varies jurisdiction by jurisdiction. The definition of marital property also varies by jurisdiction but is typically based on whether your state is a community property state or a common law state. It is important to know the specific laws that govern the distribution of marital property in your state.

When You are a Beneficiary of a Shared Estate

Even if an estate does not require an appraisal for IRS purposes, an appraisal may still be required to help you and the other beneficiaries split up the inherited property. Is Mom’s heirloom china service a fair trade for Dad’s train set? The value of the items involved can be large or small and the value definition used may be fair market value, market value or liquidation value.

When You Sever a Business Partnership or a Business Fails

In these cases, the equitable distribution appraisal contains business property such as furniture, fixtures and equipment. If the business is being dissolved, all such items may need to be auctioned off fairly quickly and an orderly liquidation value may be sought. If one partner is buying out the interests of the other, the purpose of the appraisal will be to determine the monetary equivalent to be paid to the exiting partner. Often the value definition is based on value in place which considers the worth of the property to the owner because of its contribution to the business.

Working with Us

Sometimes you may be the one who initiates the conversation with WorthWise Art and Antiques Appraisers to assist with the equitable distribution appraisal. Other times, we may be called in by another individual involved in the situation, a lawyer or mediator representing one or all of recipients, or by court order if the case is involved in litigation.

These kinds of situations can be emotionally charged as well as technically complex. At WorthWise Art and Antiques Appraisers, we understand such pressures and are committed to listening and communicating with respect while maintaining our professionalism, objectivity and neutrality.