When you can’t move forward in a separation / divorce until you separate personal property, you have several options. You can do it yourself, you can pay your lawyer to do it, or you can hire someone who specializes in personal property appraisal. I am a personal property appraisal specialist and I can work with you in a number of ways:
– Inventory: I can prepare a report which results from either couple-initiated or court ordered inventory of personal property, which gives both parties a record created by a neutral party of everything on both premises. This inventory can be a detailed list, or include photographs.
– Appraisal: I can assign a value (typically fair market value, but also expert appraisal in marketable cash value, donation value, replacement value, forced liquidation value) to your personal property. A real dollar value is useful in progressing through your separation, transitioning to separate households, and also helps reduce tensions where something might have a large emotional or sentimental value but not a high real dollar value.
– As a personal property appraiser, I can help to facilitate compromise and a distribution of property which can FEEL much more equitable to both parties, with differing priorities and emotional attachments to various items, than a straight California division of community property might feel.
– I can help can create and customize methods and processes which level-set expectations, and help you start to talk and work through this complex, emotional, but necessary process.
– I can help you divide responsibility for clearing accumulated “personal property debt”: this might include clutter, junk in storage unit, old TVs or electronic waste, or toxic waste (old paint, cleaners, mattresses, batteries, light bulbs, etc)