Intended Use and Report Type

Learn How Reported Appraisals are Used

There are many intended uses and each requires a different solution.
Intended users should expect an appraisal report that is meaningful, properly understood and not misleading. Reported value conclusions must be worthy of belief relevant to intended use. The assignment results must be ethically and competently developed in compliance with The Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP). 


Determine Your Property’s Value With an Expert

Credibility Depends on Intended Use

The first task of a personal property appraiser is to carefully communicate with the client to define or identify the appraisal problem. There are many types of personal property appraisal intended uses (e.g. assignment types). Understanding intended use is essential. It allows an appraiser to determine the effective date, appropriate value definition, the appropriate market to research and to determine if the appraiser is competent to solve the appraisal problem that has been identified. Only then can the personal property appraiser determine and conduct the  scope of work necessary to solve the valuation problem credibly. Whether an appraisal report is worthy of belief (credible) is determined relevant to intended use. The appraiser's task is formidable; client's need a formidable appraiser. Novotny Appraisal Services can solve your personal property appraisal in Los Angeles, or online nationwide. Novotny is currently offering two new online services. Please visit

Novotny's best credential

The solution, communicated in an appraisal report, must be developed following the appraisal process. The appraiser must have the knowledge and experience to complete the assignment ethically and competently and in compliance with the Uniform Standards of Appraisal Practice (USPAP). Novotny's best credential is his AQB Certified USPAP Instructor Certificate.

Highest frequency of sales

There are many types of intended uses (Client objectives) discussed in detail below. Novotny, a general personal property appraiser in Los Angeles is frequently contacted to perform many types of appraisal intended uses, often for complete residential contents. Each intended use requires an appropriate definition and the investigation of the relevant market (with the highest frequency of sales). Each appraisal assignment carries with it different client-centered needs, objectives, priorities, deadlines, subsidiary goals, and budgets that must be considered at the time of the assignment. Once one of the intended uses listed below is identified, the appraiser can take the appropriate action in order to:

Provide litigation support to help settle a legal dispute regarding property value

Advise clients about value, accessible markets and object salability, price range per object, best market or how to conduct their own estate sale.

Calculate value for IRS tax purposes for estate taxes or non cash charitable contribution

Assist in trust or probate management

Determine value for equitable distribution or decision making

Or provide an abbreviated preliminary or staged report for negotiated settlement purposes such as arbitration, mediation, informal negotiation (with initial minimum scope of work) based on 40 years of multiple alternative market knowledge and experience with most property types

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Litigation Support

William Novotny is a general personal property expert witness appraiser specializing in complete residential contents appraisals, with or without a property inspection. He has gathered significant expert witness litigation support experience since his first case in 1996. Since then he has served as a litigation consultant for personal property valuation cases for many attorneys, both plaintiff and defense. He was last deposed on July 16, 2018 and before then May 27, 2015, February 25, 2013, Aug 17, 2012, June 21, 2012 and March 16, 2011. His last trial testimony was on July 27, 2021. Other trial testimonies were provided on April 11, 2016, June 15, 2015, November 5, 2013, and in 2007. He was designated as a personal property expert witness appraiser over 30 occasions. Some cases had multiple plaintiffs. Most litigation support assignments relate to personal property damage or loss alleged to have been caused by water intrusion, fire, mold or asbestos contamination, theft or conversion.

Novotny embraces the challenges of expert witness appraisal work with a confidence based on 40+ years experience in the professional valuation of personal property and antiques. He can convincingly establish and maintain his credibility as an expert witness, and convincingly communicate how and why his analyses, opinions and conclusions are worthy of belief. Expert witness personal property appraisal work is challenging!

Novotny's testimony is based on facts, proper appraisal methodology and a scope of work sufficient to develop credible assignment results. His property identification and valuation is backed by many years of market knowledge and experience.

When you retain Novotny he will identify and understand the appraisal problem, and explain his scope of work and the solution to the appraisal problem based on the questions posed to him.

His standard of care will meet or exceed the requirements of the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice and the actions of his peers.

He will give his own opinion based on the facts of the case.

He will demonstrate a mastery of the technical aspects of the appraisal.

He will will always remain independent, objective and impartial.

He will present a professional appearance and demeanor.

He will consider the question posed carefully and provide a simple, direct answer to the specific question asked.

He will use clear, plain and non-technical language.

He will tell the truth always, and not advocate or push a client' interests.

Trust and Probate Appraisals Flexible and Appropriate


A trust is a legal mechanism that establishes how and when your assets will be distributed upon your death. Trusts can help you reduce your estate and gift taxes and distribute assets without the cost, delay, and publicity of probate court which administers wills. Estate Planning is an important part of this process. 


When someone dies without a will or a trust, the antiques and personal property frequently need to be valued by an ethical and competent appraiser to determine fair market value. Novotny will document and value your antiques and personal property as required and appropriate. The report type and content must meet the probate court’s requirements and the needs of intended users. 


Assets held in joint tenancy may not be subject to probate or trust administration, but they may still have to be valued for estate tax purposes or to establish a basis for later IRS tax purposes (a step up) and for equitable distribution among heirs. The IRS can require an itemized list and valuation of person property. 

Estate Planning and Trust or Estate Management Valuations

What is the value of your personal property? How do you want to distribute your personal property? There are federal and state laws governing estates. Careful estate planning allows you to communicate and establish your intentions, priorities, concerns, and preferences should you be unable to manage your affairs or unexpectedly pass away.

Estate planning can include establishing your trust, will, living will, health-care-proxy, and assignment of power of attorney. Should you die without a trust or will, the state will distribute your assets based on arbitrary formula that may not be congruent with your intentions. Family conflict could occur and increased legal or administrative costs accrue.

To determine value, or to be equitable, sometimes an appraisal is necessary. When you have antiques, fine art, oriental rugs, collectibles, and fine jewelry etc., an inventory and valuation of your important personal property assets should be considered. Novotny can assist you in preparing an inventory and valuation of important personal property by means of a formal inventory or appraisal report. Many clients request Novotny to assist them in preparing an inventory that identifies and lists the market value of their personal property.

The scope of work necessary to develop the appraiser's opinions can vary considerably depending on the property types and the needs of clients and intended users. The extent of reporting can also be very flexible. Well-written formal reports are produced as needed. Oral reports, when appropriate, can be expanded to meet the needs of the client and intended users.

Novotny Appraisals

Equitable Distribution and Divorce Appraisals Require Fair Market Value Determination

Novotny Appraisals

Sterling Silver Repousse Ice Bucket

Expert valuation

Personal property often has more than one party with an ownership interest. Frequently value is in dispute and the parties need expert valuation. During the dissolution of marriage personal property marital assets that are community property must be equitably distributed based upon a determination of fair market value. This may require the services of a personal property appraiser when the dispute cannot be resolved between the parties.

Frequently in trust or estate management situations there are multiple beneficiaries of the personal property. Sometimes the property requires a fair market valuation in order to be distributed equitably.

Part or all of the appraisal process can be conducted without a written report (when a written report is not required for legal purposes). An oral valuation report can be requested by a party or parties with an interest in the value of the subject property. An oral valuation report can substantially reduce appraisal costs.

Oral Reports Quickly Confirmed

If the parties accept the stated value then no further appraisal service is needed. If a party contests the stated value, and If a computer is available on-site, Novotny can, if requested, quickly demonstrate the range of published sales of comparable objects. He can also do this, if requested, later at his office and report back to the clients and, as directed, to intended users.

Formal written appraisal

If, on the other hand, a party(s) requires a written report, at increased cost, Novotny will prepare a written report. He creates formally written appraisal reports nearly every day of his life for various intended uses. Written and oral reports must meet USPAP requirements. 

IRS Tax Appraisals Require a Qualified Appraiser and Qualified Appraisal

Qualified appraiser

As of August 2006, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) began reviewing and changing the rules. Notice 2006-96 was issued providing guidance for defining a qualified appraiser. When the appraiser can fulfill these requirements it will be a good indication that an appraisal for estate tax reporting or charitable contributions will be reviewed positively. Recent changes in the law (Pension Protection Act, 2006) affect the process of charitable contribution.

The IRS recognized the need to better define a qualified appraisal. Proposed regulations (§1.170A-17(a) will establish that a qualified appraisal means an appraisal document that is prepared by a qualified appraiser in accordance with generally accepted appraisal standards such as the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP).

Recognized professional

There are many specific requirements relating to non-cash charitable donation and estate tax (decedent 706 estate tax returns) of the IRS that an appraiser must be familiar with and capable of fulfilling. For instance, for tax returns after August 2006, the appraiser must:

Earned an appraisal designation from a recognized professional appraiser organization

Regularly perform appraisals for compensation

Verifiable education and experience in valuing the type of property being appraised

Novotny has prepared many IRS tax appraisal reports in compliance with IRS regulations & USPAP. Novotny is a qualified IRS appraiser able to perform IRS tax appraisals for most residential contents appraisals and for many property types.

An appraisal may also be needed for trust or probate purposes, estate planning, equitable distribution, and informed decision making.

Determine Your Property’s Value With an Expert

Insurance Appraisals of High-Value Objects and Inventory of Residential Contents

Repair Coverage

There are two types of replacement or repair coverage that apply to personal property. Clients may need to obtain insurance or to settle a damage or loss claim. Insurance companies and the moving and storage industry each provide a different type of coverage. Each is governed by different federal laws.

The insurance industry provides homeowner's and renter's insurance for personal property. There are also endorsement and floaters available when property is specifically scheduled. Find out more about proper insurance appraisals with further information from the Insurance industry.

Expanded Coverage

Within a homeowner's insurance policy, some personal property items are subject to limits such as antiques, jewelry, fine art, collector items, and rare objects. Personal property floaters are used to insure personal property objects which have limited coverage under a standard policy. This can also be accomplished through an endorsement, a provision that changes the original policy coverage. These options offer expanded coverage for individual items or item types that are not otherwise covered. The expanded coverage establishes an agreed value that reflects replacement cost without depreciation. Personal property that is frequently scheduled to expand coverage include:

Jewelry and antiques 

Furs: real fur garments and garments trimmed with real fur

Cameras: digital, still, movie, video, and equipment

Musical instruments: professional and non-professional

Silverware, antique silver and sterling objects and rare decorative art 

Fine Arts: paintings, etchings, bronzes, and sculptures

Manuscripts and books, and antique furniture

Golfer's equipment: matched sets of golf clubs and clothing 

Sports equipment: fishing gear, archery and hunting gear

Stamp or coin collections

Hand tools and power tools owned for business purposes

Novotny Appraisals

Insurance Appraisals

When your personal property or antiques need to be scheduled, or when insured object(s) are damaged or lost, an appraisal is often required to establish value. Novotny serves private parties, insurance adjusters, and litigators with personal property insurance valuation problems. Novotny has the experience to solve client's insurance valuation problems regarding personal property, antiques, and collectibles. Novotny can help you in the following manner:


Acquire insurance and establish object identification for recovery 

Value an insured loss or a moving and storage damage claim 

Act as an appraiser on an appraisal panel under the insurance appraisal clause

Serve as an expert appraiser in the mediation and litigation of a disputed insured loss 

Have Novotny photograph personal property and retain photographs in his work file for proof of ownership

Protect yourself! Document your personal property with a list of important personal property:

Gather and keep all sales receipts of major purchases and past appraisals.

Take a video inventory or photographic inventory of your personal property.

Keep your appraisals and other documentation in a safe place. 

If you need personal property inventory documentation or insurance valuation, contact Novotny Now!

Shipping and Storage Damage Or Loss Claims Can Be Challenging - There Are Many Issues

Coverage Plan

Your personal property is not automatically covered during shipping and storage. You must select a coverage plan from the options that must be offered to you. It is important to understand the differences between these options as they are quite different from the provisions of homeowner insurance policies. Basic minimum coverage can be determined per pound/per item which very well could be inadequate. You can choose an option that can provide for full replacement coverage new or comparable in the retail market.

Damaged Property

When property is damaged while shipping, either by improper packing or careless handling, an appraisal is frequently required. Moving and storage claims, while similar in some respects, are considerably different from insurance claims. Novotny has handled many shipping and storage damage or loss claims through formal appraisal.

Lesser Value

Sometimes a damaged object of lesser value also requires a formally written appraisal. Written appraisals are considerably more expensive than oral appraisals, and they must comply with the reporting requirements of the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP). Failure to do so properly results in a USPAP violation which is not acceptable.

Abbreviated report template

Novotny developed an abbreviated, low cost, formally written, single page appraisal report template. This template allows Novotny to selectively appraise, and properly report, the value of single damaged objects at a reduced cost. Contact Novotny Now to properly value your shipping damage or loss claim.

Alternative Liquidation Markets

Clients frequently need assistance in identifying objects that may require a specialized market to achieve the highest value and with pricing ordinary objects for on-site sale. Clients frequently request Novotny to provide an oral (Antiques Roadshow type) appraisal report only. During the oral valuation, Novotny will identify the property and provide a price range. When the client intends to personally manage the liquidation of the personal property, Novotny will provide advice, as requested, about how to properly organize, produce and conduct an on-site estate, tag, or garage sale. Such advice often covers issues such as staging, advertising, security, and traffic flow. An oral appraisal report is a cost-effective way to become informed regarding the price range at which property will probably sell with time restraints.

If Novotny is requested to conduct an estate sale, rather than price the property for his standard fee, Novotny will decline the appraisal assignment and offer his services as an estate sale agent or broker.

Your antiques and residential contents appraisal – like having an Antiques Roadshow in your own home!” HAVE A TREASURE HUNT! FIND AND VALUE UNUSUAL OBJECTS OF IMPORTANCE

Oral Appraisal Reports Are Fast and Cost Effective When Appropriate To Intended Use

Many clients seek to avoid the extra expense of a formally written appraisal report when a written report is not required. An abbreviated Oral Appraisal Report Disclosure (OARD) form, a partially written report, comes very close to a formal abbreviated Restricted Appraisal Report by providing important context and disclosures in writing. Oral appraisal reports are fast paced, cost effective, and sometimes result in the discovery of hidden treasures. At a client’s request, while doing a houseful, Novotny can also photograph to document household contents. An appraiser's inventory can provide proof of ownership in the event of catastrophic loss. It’s like having and “Antiques Road Show” in your home.

Clients often need to insure, sell, dispose or distribute selected personal property. Clients can request an oral OARD form report and become properly informed to make such decisions without the additional cost that applies to a written formal report which may not be required, needed, or wanted. Oral appraisals are cost effective and affordable while still being credible or worthy of belief (relevant to intended use).

Oral reports require the client to document Novotny's object identifications, value opinions, as well as his analyses and conclusions communicated on site. The client may document the oral appraisal by means of their own audio or visual tape and by written notes taken during the oral appraisal. Novotny usually retains a digital audio recording that documents his onsite comments, limiting conditions, assumptions, opinions, analyses and conclusions. He could complete a formal, full-fledged appraisal report later if needed.

Meaningful Conclusion

Novotny can enclose his CV with the client's hand written documentations of the oral valuation to the one page "Oral Appraisal Report Disclosures" form (OARD's) that Novotny brings to his inspection. The assembled documents help ensure that his opinions, analyses and conclusion are meaningful to the client and properly understood. The client is encouraged to take and retain some photographic evidence of the subject property as part of that documentation.

Authenticate And Value

Since the summary or aggregate value totals the value of each object identified and valued on the on-site inventory, it authenticates the attached inventory and valuation even though it may be handwritten. The OARD form lists enclosures such as the CV and the handwritten value section. The OARDS, CV, and the clients Value Section thereby comes very close to meeting the requirements for a written appraisal report. Such single page written oral report disclosures allow Novotny to more meaningfully communicate his oral appraisal report.

Determine Your Property’s Value With an Expert

The Appraiser's Task

Whether or not a personal property appraisal report is credible, or worthy of belief,
must be judged based upon relevancy to the client's intended use of the report.

Signing the USPAP certification statement is, in effect, attesting that the answer to these questions is “Yes! My report is credible”, thereby providing the client with a reason to put his or her confidence in the appraisal report. USPAP protects public trust in appraisers by establishing the minimum standards for appraisers.

Novotny is the first personal property appraiser to become an AQB Certified USPAP Instructor. Since 2002, he has been a certified AQB Certified Instructor and authorized to teach the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) to other personal property appraisers.

Novotny will comply with USPAP, as well as the ANA and ISA Code of Ethics and Conduct and the ISA Report Writing Standard, in all appraisal assignments.


Was the problem properly identified? Did my report provide a credible answer to the questions asked? Is it worthy of belief?

Should my client feel comfortable placing his or her reliance on my opinions, analyses, and conclusions?

Does the report have proper disclosures; is it logical, complete, relevant, easy to follow, meaningful, and not misleading?

Have I complied with USPAP?

Find Out More

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To find out more about Novotny's Appraisal Services, visit his HOME PAGE now.
To find out how Novotny acquired 30+ years of appraisal experience, see ABOUT US.
To find out more about the types of personal property appraised, visit PROPERTY TYPES.
If you need a generalist antiques and personal property appraiser, CONTACT NOVOTNY.