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What to do with family heirlooms when you die

| May 12, 2020 | Estate Planning |

When making your estate plan, one of the things you might forget to include is family heirlooms. Whether these have considerable financial value or purely sentimental value, making plans is vital.

Your family may not value things in the same way you do

Tastes change through the generations. While your grandmother may have drunk tea from a bone china cup and saucer, your daughter may prefer coffee in a mug. She may have no use or room for a 50-piece tea set, however much it is now worth. While dividing assets based on their financial value is one way of doing things, it may not be the best.

Find out your family’s personal preferences

Your son may secretly covet your gold rings. Your daughter may be much more interested in your antique cane fishing rod. By asking people what they do and do not like while you are alive, you can more effectively distribute your heirlooms.

You may need to sell items to value them

Pieces of art can be challenging to put a price on. They are worth what someone is prepared to pay for them, and you can only find that out by selling them.

You could gift items while you are still alive

One way of reducing problems when you die is to give your family heirlooms to your family while you are alive. If doing so, seek legal advice to ensure you do not fall afoul of tax laws.

Update your estate plan regularly

If you have not looked at your estate plan for the last 20 years, you may find it is vastly out of date. Artwork and other heirlooms can increase drastically in value due to the latest trends or the artist’s death.

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