Inheriting collectibles

Many Texas families have collections of some kind, like antique holiday decorations or specialty cocktail glasses. While these collections often hold a special place in our hearts and within our families, they may not hold a lot of monetary value. This is just one reason why considering this type of issue during the estate planning process is so important.

As with other sentimental items, family members often struggle to know what to do with collections after a loved one is gone. It is important to honor the memory and respect the person’s wishes, but with larger masses of items it can be difficult to strike the right balance. To save some of this emotional difficulty and possibly financial struggle, Texas residents should include some basic instructions on how to handle a large collection, including alternatives for when families want to either keep or not keep the items.

For example, perhaps the ideal situation would be for younger generations to keep the antique tea sets, but they are not interested at the moment. In the event that they are unwilling or unable to maintain the collection, consider whether a friend or fellow enthusiast might be a worthwhile recipient of the items.

For invaluable collections, the challenge is often finding a creative way to keep the sentimental value of the items while still dealing with the physical mass that can accompany large collections. As we’ve discussed in a previous post, smaller homes and more modest lifestyles brought on by the recession makes it more difficult for younger generations to hold onto heirlooms the way that they used to.

Source: New York Times, “The 700-Doll Question,” Jo Maeder, May 8, 2013.