Why do I need an appraisal?

Estate Administration Tax – Previously known as “Probate Fees”

Many clients are unaware that the Personal Property of an Estate must be inventoried and valued during the probate process and estate administration taxes are to be paid on them. Since 1998 (the year the Supreme court of Canada declared Probate fees actual taxes) while we still colloquially call them Probate Fees, they are now referred to as EAT or “Estate Administration Taxes”.

As of January 1, 2013 when an application for an estate certificate is made the Minister of Finance may reassess the tax payable for an estate for up to 4 years after the day the tax was made payable if he or she believes that there was ANY manner of fraudulent activity that lead to misleading numbers in the value of the estate (Estate Administration Tax Act, 1998 Section 4.1-4.5) A big beautiful home is most likely full of big beautiful furniture and other home accessories of significant value. Save yourself a lot of headache and avoid a potential reassessment by submitting a sound opinion of value of your estate’s personal property.  This can only be achieved by hiring a professional and certified personal property appraiser.


Many people don’t like to think about divorce, but unfortunately it does happen. Equitable distribution should be the main goal of divorce settlements – that’s where a professional personal property appraiser comes in to the picture. By having a neutral, unbiased – and most importantly – professional opinion of value, the distribution process could become relatively quick and painless. A professional appraiser should be hired when it comes down to furniture, art, antiques, collectibles, and other household items, to ensure fair distribution. Your lawyer will receive a thorough report that satisfies the requirements of court ordered equitable distribution. Therefore, you will cut down attorney cost and litigation time and experience much quicker negotiations.

Prenuptial Agreements

A prenuptial agreement is an agreement between two people that deals with the financial consequences of their relationship ending. Call us to conduct a Personal Property Appraisal of each person’s goods before you sign this type of agreement. We will clearly identify each item, in a very simple form that can be understood in the event that there is break down – or dispute of this agreement. Our unbiased appraisal- conducted by a certified appraiser –  can be used by both individuals to minimize legal costs, such as court time and lawyer preparation. The market value of all goods is pre-negotiated so that there will be no dispute if there is ever a separation.

Insurance Purposes

Antiques, fine art objects and rare collections can be extremely valuable assets. Most people rely on their homeowners insurance for protection against losses to these items. Unfortunately, many are unaware that their policies usually exclude these from loss. Call us today! You should have these items appraised by a professional and certified appraiser to ensure proper coverage.

Unfortunately, many clients call for an appraisal AFTER the loss has occurred. While it is possible to give a credible appraisal in this instance, it’s almost always better to get the value of the piece appraised BEFORE loss occurs.