Do you collect sculptures, coins, postage stamps or something else that holds a lot of meaning for you? You certainly want to have a specific plan inside your estate for how you’ll pass on these assets to those people within your family who want to receive it or to give these to charity or to a museum.
Before you select a beneficiary for any individual collection, sit down with loved ones and find out if any of them want these items. They might be special to you, but you need to have a conversation with loved ones to see if they have any special interest or desire to own them or sell them.
One of your heirs, for example, might prefer cash instead of your big vintage record collection. Whereas, another beneficiary might be interested in holding on to these treasured items for the future. You will want to avoid hard feelings and surprises when your will is read after you pass away.
So, think carefully about articulating your own goals for the collection first; who will be the best steward for these individual items. Then decide whether or not you want to hand out some of the items now, wait a few years and revisit the issue, or hold on to the entirety of your collection until you pass away. This will depend a lot on your individual living arrangements and your personal life stage.
No matter what kind of collection you have, it deserves special consideration in the overall scheme of your estate plan. Make sure you’ve carved time out to think about it and put it into writing.
You will also have to think about the logistics of whether or not your family members that are interested in these items have room for them in their house. Schedule a consultation with an experienced estate planning lawyer today to learn more.