Q: I know cars & house must be appraised. How do you calculate the other inventory items? See below
Furniture, linens, utensils, flatware, dishes and clothing. Do we just guess what the value could be? The clothing would be donated because none of the heirs can wear the clothing or want them. Is there some type of calculation formula? These items really don't have a monetary value. As far as jewelry, is this for fine jewelry only like diamonds, gold etc... Does this include costume jewelry that isn't designer jewelry? Who can appraise fake jewelry? This is for probate for Genesee County in Michigan.
There are a number of places where you can get inventory values for the things you need.
For valuation of real estate, an appraisal is acceptable but may not be required. Local practice may vary, and other sources of valuation for real estate may also be accepted, such as a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) or a multiple of the State Equalized Value (SEV). Call your probate register to find out.
For cars, you can use Kelley Blue Book (KBB) or NADA value, taking into consideration the year, make, model, trim package, mileage, and condition.
Fine jewelry should be appraised by a jeweler, or pawn shop.
For other items like fake jewelry, costume jewelry, kitchenware, clothes, linens, furniture, etc., used resale value is what you are after. What does it cost to purchase used goods of similar age and conditoin? A good guide to value is to research completed sale listings on Ebay to see what similar used items have actually sold for recently. You can also look at listings on Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, or other classified ads to see the going price. You can also look at what similar used goods bring at garage sales or yard sales. These are all decent barometers of used resale value.
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