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Are digital valuation tools reliable for appraising artwork?

If you and your spouse are going through a high-asset divorce in Texas, and if you acquired a significant amount of artwork during your marriage, you may want to know how you can ensure the divorce judge divides that artwork fairly between the two of you. While many people assume that the most reliable valuations come from humans, the NAEPC Journal of Estate and Tax Planning suggests that digital tools offer the most reliable results.

The Cincinnati appraiser of fine and decorative arts, collectibles and antiques who authored the study says that digital tools play a crucial role in the division, disposition and protection of tangible personal property during both divorce and estate planning. However, not all digital tools are created equal. You can ensure that the program you choose to use offers the most fair and accurate appraisal by checking to make sure it has certain characteristics.

First and foremost, the tools you use should facilitate record keeping specific to tangible personal property. It should also make record-keeping easy by offering the ability to scan invoices, store files, authenticate documents and pull up previous appraisals. Shared processing is also a must-have characteristic, as cloud tools can simplify the cataloging and sharing of benefits. For instance, with the right digital tools, you and your spouse can eliminate up to 90 percent of the back-and-forth deliberation that often accompanies the division of valuable objects.

Though the author of the report favors digital tools, she does suggest that the best digital tools grant easy access to actual specialist appraisers. These appraisers should be able to provide second options, squash misinformation and explain the valuation of an object transparently.

The information in this article is for educational purposes only. It should not be construed as legal advice.

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