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Making provisions for collections in your estate plan

Making provisions for collections in your estate plan

Teenage Grandson Helping Grandmother With Laptop

When a young woman’s mother died, she was left with handling the estate. According to The Epoch Times, the mother had an extraordinary antique collection that included chandeliers, sconces and furniture.

Unfortunately, the young heir did not have a sense of the value of the items, and she sold her mother’s home with all of the antiques included.

As an estate planning attorney Rolling Meadows knows, people in Illinois and elsewhere should make sure that collections of either monetary or sentimental value are included in legal documents. This can ensure that the decedent’s wishes regarding the assets are kept.

Determining a beneficiary

People have a range of options to choose from regarding who will inherit a collection. In some cases, collectors may want the assets to remain in the family. An article in The Wall Street Journal demonstrates the importance of discussing an estate plan with the intended heirs. Should the intended beneficiaries have no desire to keep the collection and instead want to sell it, the owner could choose someone else or come to terms with the decision.

Another option is to leave the collection to a museum or other establishment that could display it and properly care for it. This is a popular decision for people who collect historic or otherwise valuable items, such as art. Some facilities will only accept collections under certain conditions, so planning ahead of time with the establishment is a good idea.

Things to consider

Making provisions for collections of all kinds is a good idea, though people should be aware that there might be certain requirements that may apply to each asset. As an estate planning attorney in Rolling Meadows might point out, someone with a wine collection may need to review federal and state alcohol laws. Depending on the circumstances, the following may also come into play:

  • Taxes – How is the property taxed? And will heirs be responsible for a capital gains tax upon receiving it?
  • Appraisal – In order to tax or insure the assets, someone may need to appraise it.
  • Estate tax – Should someone permit an heir to sell a collection, the estate tax that may be applied should be taken into consideration.

Experts suggest that a will may not be the best way to protect a collection. In some cases, property transferred through a will goes through probate and will be on public record. Instead, a customized trust may better fulfill someone’s wishes regarding a collection. Anyone with questions about this topic should consult with an estate planning attorney in Rolling Meadows.

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