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How to include collectibles in an estate plan

On Behalf of | Jul 1, 2019 | estate planning

To create the best possible estate plan is an executable but daunting task. If you’re a collector of any sort, be it baseball cards, collectible mugs, comic books or a number of unique items, estate planning may come with additional complexities. As you prepare your estate plan in Pennsylvania, the subject of beneficiaries, donations or sales will undoubtedly come up.

Collections are personal property items. If untracked, these items may end up lost or misplaced. To track inventory utilizing software safely protects your assets. It provides the executor of your will or successor trustee to locate these items. Inventory lists help the executor, heirs and attorneys who help you plan your estate.

Instructions matter, particularly when it comes to valuable, unique assets. Leave clear instructions on who inherits your collections or valuables. If you plan to split your assets fairly, then clear instructions on the value of different items may help.

To include unique assets, value is necessary. According to Forbes, values are up for debate given the specialized knowledge necessary to settle on a fair price. The market is not consistent in every case. Valuation is important also for estate tax purposes. Accurate inventories and values of collections will ensure that estate taxes are accurate.

Smart Asset explains there is a 4.5 percent tax applied to transfers if the inheritor is a direct descendant. For siblings or any other heir, there is a 15 percent tax. The exceptions are government entities and charitable organizations. Not only do the taxes apply to in state residents, but also out of state heirs must pay the Pennsylvania estate tax.