The Collecting Bug and Estate Planning: How to Pass on Your Treasures

The Collecting Bug and Estate Planning: How to Pass on Your Treasures

It’s a tricky matter. Clients spend years collecting objects that please their eyes and comfort their souls.

Valuable porcelain, rare coins, Victorian jewelry, military medals, flashy electric guitars – the list has no limit. These assemblages sometimes build into assets of great value, but often the value lies solely in the collector’s heart. What should your clients do to assure their treasures will be preserved once they finally pass on?

People collect from passion and simply because it’s fun way to spend money without technically frittering it away. It’s a nice break from the usual dreary list of investments – essential and profitable, perhaps, but hardly joyful. We’ve never heard of anyone staying up late at night to caress their life policy.

How to handle the matter of passing it on, then? If the objects are of historical or cultural value, a museum or university might be found that would conserve the objects for study and display. If done correctly, this can create a nice legacy for the collector – their life passion could become a source of enjoyment and enlightenment for future generations.

In some cases, the best approach is to sell the collection – not everything is museum quality. The issue here seems obvious, but is often overlooked: the executor must be an expert in the objects for sale. If not, many subtleties affecting value could be overlooked. Collections are often most valuable if sold as a lot, but in other cases, piece-by-piece is the best approach. Only the specialist need apply for this particular task.

If the collection was so dear to the departed, shouldn’t it be handed down to family? This should only be done if someone in the family dearly wants the collection. If not, it’s likely to fall into uncaring hands that will fritter it away, so plan carefully.

For more information, please read:
Why You Need A Plan For Your Collectibles Before You Die | Forbes

 

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