Kansas Estate Planning Attorney Shares Three More Estate Planning Tips for Collectors
If you have a collection of items, large or small, it is crucial that you include your collection in your estate plan. In a previous article, we shared three strategies that collectors can use to manage their collection well during their lifetime and ensure that the collection is handled according to their wishes at the time of their death. Today, we present three more action steps that you can take to manage and protect your collection so that it can be enjoyed for years to come.
The value(s) of your collection(s) and the items in it fluctuate drastically over time. You probably know that already because it is likely that you have purchased items for your collection, sold items from your collection, or both. For many items, the market is limited to like-minded people who collect the same thing. Keeping track of the value of the items in your collection over time can be difficult, but it is vital that you at least try to do so. Whether your insurer periodically needs access to information about the value of your collection or the executor of your estate is asked to create an inventory of the items in your estate and provide estimates of their value, both you and other people will want to know what those items are worth from time to time. If you have not already done so, create a system for periodically reviewing and evaluating the worth of each item in your collection to the best of your ability, using whatever resources you know to give you the most credible information on the topic.
Keeping as much documentation of the origin and ownership records for the items in your collection is also part of the work of being a collector. Imitation items that look similar to the things you have can confuse potential buyers who think they can get the same thing down at the local secondhand store for just a few dollars. As is the case with valuation information, obtain what you can and keep it organized and accessible to any people who may need to obtain it, including insurance agents, your estate planning attorney, and family members.
Some collections are of such a high value or are a part of an estate with such a high total value that those items, as well as other inheritances from those estates, will be subject to estate tax. If your estate falls into this category, it is wise to strategize with your estate planning attorney about possible ways that you could reduce the estate tax burden on those who will become the proud owners of your collection when you pass away. You may be able to create a trust, make gifts during your lifetime, or otherwise lower the estate tax payments that will be collected from the future owners of your collection.
Wichita attorney J. Joseph Weber is available to discuss your Kansas estate planning questions. Please call our office at (316) 265-7802, or contact us through our website to arrange a consultation.