Anthony's Appraisal Blog

APPRAISAL IS NOT A LEGAL DOCUMENT

7/11/12
not legal document

Many appraisal clients automatically think that their appraisals are legal endeavors and the written reports they produce are considered legal documents. In the truest sense of the word, that is not correct, since legal documents are binding and enforceable by law. Examples of legal documents would be: a bill of sale, power of attorney, or a document of partnership dissolution which can be upheld in a court of law and is not subject to discussion or revision. Appraisals may be done for legal uses, but the actual report is no more legal than other personal statements. It is an informed judgment of an opinion of value, whether it is a specific amount, a range of numbers, or a relationship.


The strength or weight of the opinion rests on the evidence that supports it. Within his appraisal, a qualified appraiser sets forth a document with believable and justified reasoning. Even though an appraisal report is not a legal document, clients might depend on them for legal functions. A divorce appraisal may provide equal compensation to property once held jointly. An estate appraisal may be utilized by the IRS to determine the amount of tax due to the government. An insurance appraisal may trigger a premium amount to cover valuable property in the event of a loss. A qualified appraiser should establish the strongest value or cost opinion based on available evidence. It should be relevant, documented, and compelling. Even though it is not a legal document, it may serve a very legal purpose.

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