An appraisal is the act or process of developing an opinion of value. An appraisal may consist of a valuation of property, including personal property, collectibles, antiques, works of art, and other items and articles. Our clients include professionals (i.e. estate attorneys, trust officers, etc.) and individuals who require an appraisal for estate tax, insurance, divorce, equitable distribution, and more.

A professional appraiser provides an independent and impartial opinion of value based on research, independent knowledge, and experience. Qualified appraisers are often associated with professional appraisal organizations, such as the International Society of Appraisers and the American Association of Appraisers.

Lori Stefek has been affiliated with the International Society of Appraisers since 2004. She is a Certified Appraiser of Personal Property, the highest designation available within the ISA. She is a graduate of the Missouri Auction School and holds the Benefit Auctioneer Specialist designation with the National Association of Auctioneers. She is active in her community serving on several boards and conducts multiple charity auctions each year.

Lori provides personal property appraisals for insurance purposes, estate tax purposes, equitable distribution, divorce, and donations. The team at Stefek’s also performs inventory services tailored to the needs of individual clients – whether it is for an equitable distribution or a concise inventory for a company or corporation.

Lori puts the interests of her clients first and foremost. With knowledge and expertise, Stefek’s provides unparalleled service, second to none.


Reasons you may need an appraisal include:

  • Adding to an existing insurance policy (i.e. for fine art, jewelry, sterling silver, etc.) – the insurance company will need a replacement value appraisal on those items.
  • Lending artwork/items to a museum or exhibition – often the receiving party will want a replacement value appraisal on the item being lent for insurance purposes.
  • Estates – you are working on distributing your property equally between beneficiaries and will need a fair market value appraisal.
  • Divorce – interested parties may need a fair market value appraisal to determine the value of personal property for an equitable distribution.
  • Donation – whether you are donating fine art to a museum or institution, or you are donating everyday items to a charity, often the recipient will need a fair market value appraisal. You as the donor will require one for tax purposes.


Useful definitions:

  • Appraiser: one is who expected to perform valuation services competently and in a manner that is independent, impartial, and objective.
  • Equitable distribution: a fair division of assets between two or more entities (people or businesses); the division is based upon an agreed-upon method or may be at the direction of third-party or court.
  • Fair market value: a specific type of market value defined by a legal or regulatory jurisdiction and caries with individual jurisdictions. For Federal uses such as estate and gift tax or charitable contributions, fair market value is defined by Treasury Regulation §1.170A-1©(2) as, “The price at which property would change hands between a willing buyer and a willing seller, neither being under any compulsion to buy or to sell and both having reasonable knowledge of the relevant facts.”
  • Personal property: any tangible or portable objects which are considered by the general public as being “personal,” i.e., items which are decorative, utilitarian, or collectible such as furnishings, artwork, antiques, gems, jewelry, clothing, machinery and equipment; all property that is not classified as real estate.
  • Replacement value: the worth of a property based on the amount of money one would have to pay to replace the property (through purchase or construction, and with a new or comparable item as the property type warrants) within a reasonable amount of time and from within the relevant market with a property of like kind, quality, origin, and utility as the property being replaced.
  • USPAP: acronym for the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice as promulgated by the Appraisal Foundation of Washington, DC.


(Definitions courtesy of David J. Maloney, Jr.’s Appraising Personal Property: Principles & Methodology)