Hoarder's estate going into probate; need help evaluating cars
My relative has died, leaving just about everything undone that it's possible to leave undone.
The estate is going into probate because of course there's no will. I have an attorney who's filed for probate, and I've been given authority by the court to gather information and secure the estate's assets.
Among these items, relative had a number of cars in the yard, in various states of disrepair. Only one runs and I suspect none of the others have been running for at least 5 years. My relative fancied himself as a collector so there is a possibility of value beyond the obvious, even though everything he owned was neglected to the point of abuse. There is a vintage car that may be quite valuable, but it's been damaged through neglect over the years. I've spoken with a broker and with an automotive writer and they have given me *wildly* different evaluations of their potential value - by hundreds or thousands, depending on the vehicle. And I need, somehow, to get through to DMV for far more than a 3-item window of discussion, to find out the fines/liens/registration info/ etc. associated with the relative's name.
Has anyone been through this process before? How do I get someone trustworthy to evaluate their worth when I can't actually sell them for the next few months? How did you deal with the DMV? Do you have leads for reliable, honest experts who can help me figure out what gets towed away for scrap, what gets repaired to running condition to improve its sale price, and whether the estate should put money into the vintage car or unload it as-is? I'm sure there's a tipping point between selling it as-is, putting wheels on it and having it towed away, auctioning it off or trying to find a collector who'd want to restore it. I'm in danger of being low-balled because a broker might want to get the items as cheap as possible.
Thanks for any advice you might have! If you have direct experience that is best; well-intended speculation won't be of much help (I already have PLENTY of that!)