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Dr. David C. Schwab prepares personal property appraisals for a range of intended uses.

  • Division of Marital Estate Personal Property includes the appraisal of the Residential Contents, art, antiques, coin collection, car collection, gun collection, jewelry, sometimes even the family pets. 

  • Equitable Division in Decedent Estates. Sometimes personal property is specifically left to certain heirs, sometimes not. The identity of valuable items and an appraisal can be helpful to the personal representative in dividing the property. 

  • Decedent Estate where the personal property is insignificant and where other significant estate assets might suggest that the decedent's home must be overflowing with artworks, etc. It is not uncommon to find the value of a wealthy estate is in stocks and bonds and not in the contents of the home. Where the estate has taxable value, I may be asked to value the home contents to provide evidence that the wealthy decedent did not own fine artwork, oriental rugs or valuable antiques. 

  • IRS Non-Cash Charitable Donations requires an IRS qualified appraiser and a qualified appraisal report accompanied by a Form 8283. The IRS imposes penalties, fines and the threat of disbarment for appraisal wrongdoing.  

  • Casualty Insurance Claims cover losses from fire, water, mold, etc. Insurance companies have proprietary definitions of insured value, usually Replacement Value and Actual Cash Value. If the insurance company rejects a claim, the insurance company calls for the Appraisal Clause. This basically requires the claimant to get an appraisal and the insurance company to get an appraisal. If the two appraisers cannot agree on one value, then the ‘clause' calls for the two appraisers to pick a third ‘umpire' to review the two appraisals, perform his or her own appraisal. Where one of the first two appraisers agree with the umpire appraiser, that will be the final claim value.  

Dr. Schwab is by training, experience and education well qualified as a testifying valuation expert. He is a member of the Certified Appraisers Guild of America since 2004. He holds a doctorate in Biology from the University of Southern Mississippi, and has been an appraiser since 1978.

Personal property is defined as a class of property/asset other than real estate. The distinguishing difference between personal property and real property, is that personal property is movable. It is not fixed permanently to one location.  Personal Property is also called movable property, movables, or chattels, and includes virtually any form of property other than real estate. 

Personal property appraisal covers a wide range of things including machinery, equipment, vehicles, jewelry, airplanes, yachts, antiques, coins, postage stamps, sports memorabilia, guns, prints, paintings, artifacts, fine art, decorative art, furniture, oriental rugs, and many forms of collectibles.

Personal property interest is possessory. The Uniform Commercial Code Article 2A (UCC) is used by lenders to put a lien on personal property used as collateral for a lease or loan. There are many laws that govern ownership of different types of property.

Personal property has an emotional quantity in that people are connected to the thing because of feelings, passionate attachment, an affection, possessory passion, tied to family ownership or childhood memories. Some objective person may see a chair, a painting, or a porcelain plate as what they are… things. Others with a possessory interest see them as part of themselves, as this chair, or painting, or plate was their grandmother's chair, painting, or porcelain plate. Hence, an appraiser is or should be aware of the sensitivity to the emotional attachment of some owners or heirs.


An appraisal is a researched professional opinion in the form of a narrative thesis supported by evidence and logic. It is manifestly impossible to know the identity and value of everything in the world. Therefore, an appraisal involves the identification of the property. its value characteristics, its market, and includes extensive develop evidence to support the opinion.  Non-Cash Charitable Donation Under Treasury Regulations S1.170A-1(c) of the Internal Revenue Code

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