Passing down heirloom jewelry to your heirs: Strategies for success

We’ve all heard about it (or experienced it ourselves). Siblings who aren’t talking any more due to hurt feelings from dividing up heirloom jewelry and other possessions. Tips for creating a legacy with jewelry

No one wants this to happen. So here are some tips for passing along your heirloom jewelry while keeping peace in your family.

  1. Realize that it’s not just about the money. Family possessions can bring up feelings about how valued children feel by their parents. Insecurities that may have been percolating for decades can flare up when grandma’s string of pearls goes to one of your children (or grandchildren) and not another.
  1. Have a discussion now. After a parent passes away, feelings are running high, which can add to fights over heirloom jewelry. It’s not easy, but consider sitting down with your children now and have a discussion about who wants what. Some families make a list of items and go down the list, with everyone choosing one item in turn. Family members can negotiate with one another afterwards.
  1. Know what your heirloom jewelry is worth. Have your jewelry (and silver and watches) appraised. If one child gets a ring worth $30,000 and another gets a brooch worth $10,000, that’s a family problem waiting to blow up. I do many appraisals for families for just this reason. With a written appraisal, you and your heirs will know what each piece is worth and you can start the conversation on a level playing field.
  1. Put it in writing. Once your heirs (children, grandchildren) have selected what they’d like, write the list and give a copy to your attorney (along with copies for your children).

One of the joys of life is being able to pass along heirlooms to family members. But a little pre-planning can help keep family feuds at bay. Need an updated appraisal? Call me to set up your appointment.

Brilliantly yours, Aimee

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