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Introduction To Personal Property

Three areas need your attention at this early time. First, make sure that you get all the life insurance information for use later.

Second, the household furniture and furnishings will take a lot of time, so start now. List the items, by groups such as dining room furniture, pots and pans, garage tools and stereo, then assign values to them. Use this list as a work sheet to develop your proposed equal division of the property. Have your attorney send it to your spouse’s attorney, or send it directly if the attorneys have agreed the two of you should handle this on your own. If there are household items of great value, one of you will be taking the house furnished, or you simply can’t agree, you’ll need an appraisal. The values will probably be so low as to shock you.

Third, start with appraisals, sometimes informal, on the valuable items. Collectibles, including cherished automobiles, and works of art, are investments although displayed in the home. They should be appraised and handled separately because of their value. The dealer you have been buying from may be able to give you an initial appraisal. With an idea of the value and rate of appreciation, you can decide at what price you’re interested.