The Many Different Estate Planning Options Regarding Collectibles

Many people here in Michigan collect something. People can have a lot of pride in their collections, and, for many, the collections they have are among their most treasured assets. As is the case with any type of asset, it can be important for a person to think about what they want to have happen with their collections during their elderly years and when they pass away.

Whether it happens during their lifetime or upon their death, a person will generally end up parting with the collections they have. There are many different options a person has for parting with a collection. Some of the main options are:

  • Selling the collection.
  • Giving the collection to a museum or charitable organization during one's lifetime.
  • Giving the collection to a friend or family member during one's lifetime.
  • Setting up one's wills or other estate planning documents so that the collection will be transferred, upon their death, to a loved one, museum or charitable organization.

If a person does not part with their collections during their lifetime and does not include any provisions regarding the collections in their estate plan, state probate law will generally control what happens with the collections upon the person's death.

There are many financial implications the exact way a person ultimately parts with a collection they have can have. Thus, when deciding how one wants to part with one of their collections, taking things like the collection's value and the potential tax implications of the different options into account can be important.

What will happen with a treasured collection during one's elderly years and upon one's death is also an issue which can touch on some major emotional issues for a person. For example, a person may have a strong emotional desire for a treasured collection to stay in the family. Thus, how to best achieve any emotional goals one has regarding a collection can also be an important thing to consider when deciding how one will ultimately part with a collection.

As this illustrates, for many estate planning decisions regarding one's assets, there can be both major financial and major emotional considerations to factor in. Attorneys can help individuals with taking all their various different goals into account when it comes to the setup of their estate plan.

Source: Memphis Daily News, "Estate Planning and Your Collectibles," Ray Brandon and Dana Brandon, April 16, 2015

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