Putting a Value on Tangible Personal Property in California
In many estates, the decedent’s list of assets includes a number of personal property items qualified as tangible personal property. These assets are usually listed on Attachment 2 of the Inventory and Appraisal Form supplied to the probate referee.
“Tangible personal property” means property that you can actually “touch,” and the term usually refers to:
- Jewelry, art, coins, and antiques. These items, if valuable, can be appraised by an expert or reputable dealer chosen by a personal representative. He or she will transmit the appraisal to the probate referee.
- Mobile homes. It is important to determine at once whether a mobile home is truly mobile (personal property) or affixed to the land. If it is affixed to the land, it becomes real property. The representative should supply the probate referee with the latest tax bill for the property where the mobile home is located and a copy of a Department of Housing registration if any.
- Vehicles and boats. The representative needs to supply the most recent registration of each item and the mileage or engine time, as well as a description of the item’s condition.
- Livestock and breeding animals. The referee needs to know each individual animal’s record and pedigrees (for a racehorse, breeding record, and race records) as well as the name, age, and sex. It is best to include an expert evaluation of the animals.
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