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Estates and Estate Executors

An estate executor is at RISK! The courts expect you to perform “due diligence” in the dispersal of the art, antiques and collectables. You can be held in contempt of court if you just arbitrarily give things away based on who wants what and who deserves certain items. If you sell items without an appraisal, heirs can hold you personally financially responsible for not getting the full value. Years later, if someone tells them a painting or antique was mishandled, you could be forced to prove you exercised due diligence and had an independent expert research it.

Protect yourself now by doing it correctly from the start. First have a “master” appraisal made.

We are your “protective guardian” during this difficult time. We shield you from emotional confrontations during the dispersal of items. We explain to heirs what an item is really worth regardless of what grandma thought, or grandpa paid.

The job of estate executor is difficult and full of risks. The most painful thing is it is a thankless job, with the possibility some of your closest family will never speak to you again over it. Let us take this “terrible burden” off your shoulders. Let us be your advisor to verify your decisions are correct and fair. Losing a friend or family member is hard enough without adding more grief.

  1. We show you what to throw away and what to give the Salvation Army for a tax deduction.

  2. We show you what to send to local auction and what to put on e-Bay.

  3. We show you what to sell to dealers and what to dispose in a garage sale.

  4. We show you how to get top retail price for your better items and what to donate to a museum or historical society for the tax advantages. (We even do the IRS forms).

  5. We guide you through inheritance tax (both state and federal) as well as insurance and shipping questions. (What should be put on the marital exemption?)

  6. We’ll even come up with a fair and equitable formula so one heir can purchase something from the estate or another heir.

  7. We advise what items need to be restored before they can be sold. Often we even tell you where to take them and how much you should pay for restoration.

  8. We work closely with your family attorney and even advise you what item could be saved for future financial appreciation.

All this sound expensive? Not really; we only charge for items we research. There is no charge to tell you what to discard, or items given to places like the Salvation Army. Our consultation time with you, the family, accountant and attorney is built in to our reasonable per item fee. Isn’t this the appraiser you’ve been looking for? Isn’t this the kind of protection you need? We can really help.

Why not give us a call at (847) 446-8827.

Click here to visit “Estate Appraisals ” page

Click here to visit “How to Pick an Auction” page

Click here to visit “Honesty Is So Rare ” page

A True Story

A collector died leaving his next door neighbor as executor. His sister came in from France. The neighbor allowed her to take a painting from her dead brother’s wall. It was a Renoir worth over $10 million dollars. She took it back to France beyond the reach of the courts. The judge went after the law firm’s license for not putting it in a bank vault and declaring it as part of the estate. The other heir’s sued the neighbor for not having appraised to find out if it was an authentic Renoir before giving it away. It cost him thousands of dollars to defend himself while he received nothing for being the executor.

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