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The importance of an equine appraiser in your high-asset divorce

| Jan 22, 2019 | High Asset Divorce |

If part of your estate or income is derived from your horses, you may soon need the services of an equine appraiser. Even if you intend to donate or gift your horses during the divorce proceedings, if the horse’s value exceeds $5000 you will need an appraiser for IRS purposes.

What can affect your horse’s value?

Whether your horse is of a certified or unknown pedigree, their value could significantly impact what you may owe in your divorce. The following factors can affect your horse’s value:

  • Disposition
  • Certified or uncertified pedigree, including offspring
  • Show record, awards, prizes
  • Physical traits
  • Statements from trainers and veterinarians

Veterinary bills and indirect costs of ownership do not affect the horse’s value. The appraiser will take all relevant information into account before performing a physical assessment, including taking pictures. Their findings altogether will form their opinion of a horse’s value.

Why hire an equine appraiser?

You and your spouse may want to hire your own appraisers. While certified appraisers are honor-bound to a code of ethics set by the American Society of Equine Appraisers, they could have different professional opinions. If the difference is significant, a judge will have to settle the matter in court.

An appraiser’s findings can serve as a baseline or a final assessment of an estate’s value for official legal matters. Their conclusions could be used by the following:

  • Tax professionals
  • Divorce attorneys
  • Estate plans or attorneys
  • Trusts
  • Insurance agents
  • IRS, tax planners
  • Sellers, purchasers, or recipients of gifts

Remember that if your horse will be moved as a result of the divorce, they could sustain an injury during transport. It is important to hire an appraiser and let them conclude their assessment before the horse travels.

An equine appraisers’ services will help create an accurate picture of your income. With their assessments, you can avoid having to pay your ex-spouse more than you actually owe.