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  • Writer's pictureCook Tillman

How can I protect my special collections in an estate plan?

If you are a collector, you know that it can be much more than a hobby. You know that it takes time, effort and often financial investments to research, safeguard and add to the collection. It makes sense, then, that you would want to protect your valued collection and ensure it is in good hands if you pass away or become incapacitated.

As a recent Forbes article notes, there are a few options for how you can treat these types of assets in an estate plan.

  1. Donate it to a museum, collector or other party.

  2. Sell it and keep or give someone the profits.

  3. Gift it to a loved one.

When deciding which option might be best, it can be helpful to answer a few questions first.

  1. Who would be able to take care of it? Collections take effort to protect, and often, their value depends greatly on their condition. As such, if you want to protect the value, think about who might be best equipped to take care of the collection and preserve its value.

  2. Who would appreciate it? If you want someone to value and care for your collection like you do, donating it or leaving it to a loved one can be the best options.

  3. What do you want from the collection? Your options for how to plan for a collection hinge on what you want from it. Do you hope it’s worth enough to allow you or your loved ones to buy something significant with the proceeds of a sale? Do you want it to stay in the family and serve as a link to the past? Do you want others to enjoy and appreciate it?

It is important to take each of these questions into consideration when it comes to collectibles, as the fate of your collection and its value could very well depend on what happens to it when it is out of your hands. Once you have decided, then you can discuss with an attorney how to best protect your wishes — and your collection — in your estate plan.


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