Doesn’t My Collection Automatically Pass to My Heirs?

Whether it’s stamps, coins or artwork, you need to plan ahead for any collections that you own that you plan to pass on or have your heirs sell when you pass away.

Collections are viewed under the law as personal property. This means that if you don’t have any other plans in place, your collection will be distributed pursuant to the distribution language for personal property in your will.

If there is no specific clause about personal property, then it will be distributed under the residue clause of your estate plan. It’s a good idea to treat your collection as separate from other personal property. If you have a big attachment to a collection or a loved one who may want to inherit it and do something with it, you need to plan for it differently. Valuing the asset can be one challenge that your heirs might face. This is because collections can be valued in a few different ways.

There is a difference between selling the collection to someone who may sell it to someone else and selling the items at auction. Anyone who buys the items at auction is more likely going to be the person who will ultimately possess it. You might need to discuss valuable or unusual collections directly with your estate planning attorney. They may have had past experience helping others appropriately plan for collections in a will. Since these might need to be handled differently, you’ll want an estate planning lawyer to help you.

At our Pasadena estate planning law office, we can help you determine your next steps and plan for moving forward. If you have questions about how to plan for your estate and the options available to you if none of your heirs want to take the collection, we can assist you in navigating this complex situation and creating a plan in line with your goals.


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