News-Antique.com - May 19,2008 - No one wants to think about their own death. Even less do we want to consider what will happen to our beloved collections after we’re gone! So okay, maybe we’ve planned it will go to our kids, but what then?
Let me tell you, inheriting a collection can be a wonderful thing, but if it’s not in order, it’s a huge headache. When my parents passed away, it took me and my five siblings, our spouses, and our children, many months to deal with the estate – just the physical part of it, let alone all the legal nightmares.
Thankfully, my parents had tracked their large number of collectibles. All the basic information we needed was in Excel spreadsheets. We had a place to start and we sure needed it. Do you know that after your death, your heirs have exactly ninety days to come up with a list of possessions and their estimated values? We still had to get some expert advice on the values, but at least we had a place to start.
In addition to the categories in the excel spreadsheets, we added a new category – LOCATION. Basically, we set up a code with each room in the house, each area in the room, each shelf, each cabinet. By entering something like “7E4” to the Location category, we knew that paperweight #242 was in the family room (7), on the bookcase (E), the fourth shelf from the top (4). Some people keep all their collectibles in one room and may not need this information, but we did since our parents’ collection was spread throughout a large house and even the garage and attic.
Please consider how important it is to leave your collection in order. A family deals with enough sorrow, changes, and red tape after a loved one passes away. Do not put them through more grief by having your affairs in disarray. Track your collection. Do it for yourself. Do it for your family.