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Estate Planning and Settlement

Tools for the equitable distribution of personal property assets

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For Estate Planners

Estate Planning is Not for the Faint of Heart!

Estate planning attorneys have the difficult job of helping each client divide their personal property assets before death and documenting their client’s wishes in a legal document. Often the benefactor has no idea of the value of his assets to his heirs, either their monetary value or their sentimental value. Especially with a large estate, the task can seem overwhelming to the client and attorney alike. Let us help.

Since 1998, Asset Verification, Inc. (AVI) has been providing highly-detailed inventory and appraisal services to affluent individuals and families throughout North American. AVI’s services provide our clients with effective tools to facilitate the equitable distribution of all personal property assets, including jewelry, to all beneficiaries.

Estate Planning Tools Can Help

According to The Robb Report, the equitable distribution of tangible personal property is one of the most difficult and emotional issues facing affluent individuals and families. Who get the sentimental items? Who gets Grandpa’s antique writing desk or Grandma’s Steinway piano? When you are also distributing expensive fine art, collectibles and other valuable items it becomes a real challenge.

AVI has developed a proprietary set of tools that takes the guesswork out of estate planning and settlement. Imagine a scenario where the estate is meticulously inventoried, appraised using fair market value, and then listed individually in our Estate Planning and Settlement online platform. The item description, its appraised value, and images of the item are conveniently displayed in an easy-to-use format that leaves no question as to its value, condition, size, color, and even the room where the item is located. Doesn’t that sound like an easier, less stressful way to start out? There’s more.

How Do AVI’s Estate Planning & Settlement Tools Help the Benefactor?

Once AVI completes the inventory and appraisal work, the benefactor is then able to log in to his confidential report in our Estate Planning & Settlement platform and make decisions about how to allocate his personal property assets. He can choose to designate the beneficiary for each item or allow the beneficiaries direct access to the report to choose the items they would like to have. Sound revolutionary? It is. And it works beautifully.

For heirs, asking for specific personal property items before their loved one’s death can be uncomfortable for both the benefactor and the beneficiary. For this reason estate settlement is often neglected or done haphazardly and can be a significant source of conflict between siblings or other relatives. Many donors wish to avoid this kind of conflict among their heirs after their death. AVI’s process and platform makes pre-selection feel comfortable and safe.

None of the beneficiaries have access to each other’s information unless the benefactor wants them to see it. There’s even a reporting feature to calculate the total value of each beneficiary’s wish list and send an email asking them to add or subtract items to keep the distribution fair and equitable. It’s all handled inside the AVI Estate Planning and Settlement online platform.

How Do AVI’s Estate Planning & Settlement Tools Help the Estate Planning Attorney?

Aside from the considerable decrease in time spent doing this work the old-fashioned way- manually estimating the value of each item and handling settlement disputes among beneficiaries-  AVI’s process virtually eliminates any “errors and omissions” liability on the part of the estate trustee or planning attorney. Our USPAP-compliant appraisal process (1) assures impartiality and the accuracy of each item’s value. Our estate planning tools are designed to assure fairness and an equitable settlement process for your client and his heirs. In the case of a disputed appraisal value, AVI can provide backup documentation on every item in the estate to resolve differences before they get out of hand. 

Empowering the benefactor to plan the distribution of his estate before his death makes everyone’s life easier at settlement time. Beneficiaries can be involved in the planning process which reduces conflict. The benefactor can make it clear what his final wishes actually are. The estate planning attorney or trustee is spared the difficult job of estimating values, allocating assets, and resolving differences that may arise among heirs. Many of your clients would love to know about AVI’s planning and settlement tools. Why not give us a call and learn more?

Why Consider AVI?

As a “Preferred Service Provider” to leading insurance carriers that cater to affluent clients, AVI has the experience and resources to meet the needs of all clients. When you combine those resources with user-friendly tools to accurately manage and measure the distribution of assets from an entire estate to beneficiaries, the difficult process becomes more manageable. At AVI, we offer personal property appraisal services for all your estate planning and estate distribution clients. We want to be your inventory, appraisal and asset distribution company.

  • We complete fair market value retail appraisals of all personal property assets for estate settlement.
  • We execute fair market value appraisals for charitable donations and produce 8283 IRS non-cash charitable donation forms and approved appraisals.
  • We provide insurance-to-value appraisals for contents coverage for homeowners insurance and we’re a preferred provider for Chubb, AIG, and Pure insurance companies.
  • Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practices (USPAP) compliant.
  • We provide detailed information to support IRS form 706 and 709 preparation.

Contact us for more information about how you can improve the accuracy and fairness of the entire estate planning and settlement process for your clients and their heirs using AVI’s proprietary tools.

(1) USPAP-compliance refers to the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice that set performance and ethical standards for certified appraisers. These standards are designed to ensure that your valuations are developed in an unbiased manner to the highest standards in the appraisal industry.

Case Studies

Client Reviews

My father used AVI’s inventory and appraisal services for insurance valuation in 2015. They were recommended by his financial advisor. When he passed away his attorney indicated we needed to provide a detailed reporting of his personal assets. I contacted AVI to see if they could provide information needed by the attorney on the value of my father’s household furnishings. They provided the information they had in their records to use for estate settlement and were also able to provide additional services at the bank where he had a safe deposit box that contained jewelry and other valuable items. The process, which the attorney indicated could be overwhelming, took only one call. As executor of my father’s estate, I not only have the personal property valuation needed to settle his estate, I also have tools to equally divide the property with my siblings. S.C.

Anyone who says that settling an estate is not a challenge has never done it or is completely uninformed. My parents had two homes filled with nice things. The process of cataloging and valuing the contents of both homes was an overwhelming challenge. When I reached out to the insurance agent to discuss next steps for the current homeowner’s insurance, she mentioned a company that provides inventory and appraisal services called Asset Verification, Inc. I called their toll free number and spoke with Randy Forman who is a partner in the company. One home was in Michigan and the other in Florida and I was happy they were able to provide services at both locations. Their availability met our timeline and the cost, though not insignificant, was very reasonable considering what had to be done to satisfy the needs of the estate attorney and the IRS. G.K.