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How To Stop Your Memorabilia Collection From Becoming A Burden To Your Family During Probate


People might earn money to impress other people, and they might spend it on the most expensive real estate, décor items, clothing, vehicles, and jewelry, but memorabilia collections exist for the enjoyment of the collector.  Some of the items in your memorabilia collection may be very valuable, but the fun of collecting is the pursuit of rare items and, even more importantly, contemplating their beauty, their history, and their personal connection to you.  Your spouse and children might tune out when you talk about your job, but they always perk up when the subject turns to how much you earn and what you might buy for them with it.  When you talk about your memorabilia collection, however, their response borders on contempt.  To your family, your collection of baseball cards, vintage comic books, or centuries old coins is just a bunch of old junk.  If only you could organize your thoughts to show the value, monetary and otherwise, of the items in your collection to your family; you can, and this will also be of great service to the probate court when the time comes to settle your estate.  To find out more about ways to lessen the stress on your family regarding the eventual probate of your estate, contact a Washington DC estate planning lawyer.

The Most Fun Spreadsheet You Will Ever Make

Most parts of estate planning are not fun; no one likes to research nursing homes or think through the implications of a springing power of attorney.  Even if you decide to procrastinate those parts, there is a fun project you can do this year that will become a valuable part of your estate plan.  That’s right, your estate planning lawyer is telling you to write a guide to your memorabilia collection that will help your surviving relatives and their lawyers understand it.

The next time you gaze at a piece of memorabilia and contemplate its history and its monetary value, do not just let these thoughts take you down memory lane.  Instead, type them into a spreadsheet.  Include columns for where and when you acquired each piece and how much you paid for it.  The next time you contemplate the same item, research its current resale value.  If you do this every year for every item, then whoever sees the spreadsheet will be getting robust data about the changes in value of your memorabilia.

You might not be able to get your family to love old coins, weapons, and sports trading cards as much as you do, but with a well-organized spreadsheet, they will at least understand the value of these things.  As they easily resell the memorabilia items, or keep them as an investment, their resentment for your weird hobby could turn into a grudging respect.

Contact Us About An Estate Plan That Lets Your Personality Shine Through

An estate planning attorney can help you make detailed plans for the parts of your estate that the probate court could easily write off as old junk.  Contact Tobin, O’Connor & Ewing for help.



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