The things that matter to you may not always make sense to your loved ones, but any enthusiast feels a closeness to their collection – whatever the medium. While most of your personal effects may not matter to you once you’ve passed, your collection may be the only possessions you want a hand in deciding their fate.
This may be especially true if the collection is valuable. According to a survey, high-net-worth art collectors are most concerned with what happens to their artwhen the next generation inherits it. For collectors who own more than $5 million in investable assets, the distinction between garage sale prints and a rare and coveted piece is significant.
What can collectors of any type do to ensure their heirs don’t decimate their collections upon their death? Here are two tips.
1. Create a detailed estate plan
Working with an attorney to create a detailed, legally binding will can protect your collection and outline specific instructions for what should be done with it when you pass away. Maybe you want your loved ones to keep these pieces or maybe you want to sell the collection and donate the funds to a charity of your choosing. A will can specify those details and assign an executor to carry out those wishes.
2. Educate your heirs
Regardless of whether you leave your collection to loved ones or directing an executor to sell the pieces, it may be worth engaging those people now. Bring them along as you shop for a new piece and discuss what makes your collection special and how to determine a fair price.
If they are involved now, they can better understand the collection’s value, not just to you personally but in monetary terms. They may never be as passionate about your collection as you are, but if they are selling your collection or choose to sell an item they inherit, they can get what it’s worth in a sale.
You can’t control everything after your death, but if you care deeply about a collection you spent years –maybe even decades – and large sums of money curating, you have options for protecting it.