How To Do An Estate Sale

Listerine heiress Bunny Mellon’s recent estate sale provided some lessons on how to do an estate sale the right way.

Mrs. Mellon’s 43 piece art collection sold for $158 million, and her jewelry sold for another $59 million, according to a story in the New York Observer.

Of course, it helps if your estate contains artworks by Picasso, but the sale did show the rest of us the do’s and don’ts of estate sales.

Tips to ensure that your estate fetches what it is worth:

  • It helps to have great taste in art, but you also must have clear title to your possessions, especially works of art.
  • Don’t leave it to your heirs to figure out what to do with, or fight over, your possessions. You make the decisions.
  • Keep your stuff in top condition.
  • Talk with a number of auction houses.
  • Get a lawyer who has done this before.
  • Make sure the auction house does a good job marketing the sale and make sure it is held at night.
  • Plan in advance how you are going to deal with taxes that might be due from the sale.

If you have questions about estate planning, feel free to all us for a consultation at (626) 696-3145.

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